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A Woman playing a Theorbo to Two Men

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You are viewing image NG864

Gerard ter BORCH , 1617 - 1681

A Woman playing a Theorbo to Two Men

Date: about 1667-8
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 67.6 x 57.8 cm
Acquisition credit: Bought, 1871

The painting is anecdotal in character, with two men present, one singing to the accompaniment of the theorbo. The association between music and love is a frequent subject in Dutch genre painting. Here, as in many of ter Borch's pictures, the relationship between the figures is deliberately ambiguous. The viewer is invited to decide whether is is just a happy domestic scene, or possibly a scene taking place in brothel.

Though influenced by the work of Metsu, the painting is more elaborate in composition and psychological resonance than comparable paintings by Metsu. Judging from the style and the fashionable clothes, the painting is probably a relatively late work, dating from the late 1660s.




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