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Metsu - A Gentleman and a Lady at a Virginal K010543

Metsu - A Gentleman and a Lady at a Virginal K010543


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Historic England

Historic England Photo Prints and Wall Art

Metsu - A Gentleman and a Lady at a Virginal K010543

KENWOOD HOUSE, London. " An Interior With a Lady Seated at a Keyboard" c.1650s by Gabriel METSU (1629-67)

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 1648343

© Historic England

Costume Dutch Fashion Musical Instrument Painting Piano


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Architecture > Great Houses > Holland House

> Arts > Artists > M > Gabriel Metsu

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Fashion

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Paintings

> Historic England > Fine Art > Kenwood House paintings

> Historic England > Heritage > English Stately Homes > Kenwood House > Art at Kenwood - the Iveagh Bequest

> Historic England > The way we were > Leisure > Music


EDITORS COMMENTS
This exquisite painting, titled "An Interior with a Lady Seated at a Keyboard," is a masterpiece by the Dutch artist Gabriel Metsu, created around the 1650s. Hanging in Kenwood House, London, this artwork offers a captivating glimpse into the opulence and elegance of the 17th century. The painting depicts a gentleman, dressed in a fashionable doublet and breeches, standing behind a lady as she gracefully plays the virginal, an early form of the piano. Her attire, adorned with intricate lace collars and cuffs, is a testament to the intricacy and sophistication of the time. The lady's delicate hands glide effortlessly across the keys, creating music that fills the room. The presence of the well-groomed dog at the lady's feet adds a touch of warmth and playfulness to the scene, highlighting the close bond between man and animal during this era. The dog's attentiveness and the lady's gentle expression convey a sense of tranquility and contentment. The virginal, a popular musical instrument during the Dutch Golden Age, is the focal point of the painting. Its ornate wooden case and intricately carved keys add to the overall grandeur of the scene. The richly decorated room, with its tapestries, gilded frames, and luxurious fabrics, further emphasizes the wealth and status of the subjects. Gabriel Metsu's exceptional use of light and shadow creates a sense of depth and dimension, drawing the viewer into the intimate moment captured in the painting. The interplay of light on the various textures and surfaces adds a sense of realism, making the scene feel alive and engaging. This painting is a stunning example of Dutch Baroque art, showcasing the exquisite detail, masterful use of light, and the elegant fusion of fashion, music, and domestic life.

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