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Man & Woman Sitting at Virginal
Detail of painting "Man and Woman Sitting at Virginal" by Gabriel Metsu, 1655.


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Painting "Man and Woman Sitting at Virginal" by Gabriel Metsu

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Gabriel Metsu takes us into the dwellings of the wealthy and refined, he gives us a glimpse of the elegancies of 17th century Dutch life.

We admire the hangings and furniture of the apartments, the walls aglow with stamped leather reheved by ebony frames of mirrors, the great chimney with its sculptured marble frieze and pillars, the brocaded bed-hangings, the richly decorated cabinets and ward-robes, all so daintily neat and bright fit setting for the fair dames and their admirers, all in rich and rare costumes, and rustling in satins and brocades.

But it seems like Metsu is preeminent among his class in that he subordinates his rich accessories so that they appear but the natural adornments and appendages of his noble and beautiful characters. So perfectly has the artist endowed his beings with personality and life, that we are attracted at once to his interesting personages, and insensibly are led to speculate as to the nature and disposition of their minds.

Metsu was a native of Leyden, and was born in 1630. Gerard Dou is said to have been his early instructor, and already in 1644, when only fourteen years old, he had become a member of the Leyden Guild of Painters. In 1650 he removed to Amsterdam, where he probably spent the greater part of his life.

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