Gerard ter Borch (Dutch, 1617–1681)
Oil on wood
14 1/2 x 12 3/4 in. (36.8 x 32.4 cm)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.617)
Ter Borch was an exceptionally gifted observer of social behavior as well as physical qualities, such as the surfaces of fine materials or the naturalistic arrangement of objects in space. In this panel of about 1658, a duet—the man seems to be singing—resonates to the heartstrings, while a watch quietly recommends temperance.