A Musical Party, 1659
Gabriël Metsu (Dutch, 1629–1667)
Oil on canvas; 24 1/2 x 21 3/8 in. (62.2 x 54.3 cm)
Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1890 (91.26.11)
Metsu was a native of Leiden, where he was probably a pupil of Gerard Dou about 1645–47. By July 1657 he had settled in Amsterdam. Like Jan Steen, Metsu combined the detailed descriptiveness of the Leiden school with painterly qualities more common in Amsterdam and Haarlem. In this canvas of 1659 the loose arrangement of the composition works like a metaphor for the pursuit of pleasure, to which the chained caryatid in the background suggests the figures are bound.