A Musical Party

Artist: Gabriël Metsu (Dutch, Leiden 1629–1667 Amsterdam)

Date: 1659

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 24 1/2 x 21 3/8 in. (62.2 x 54.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1890

Accession Number: 91.26.11


Metsu began his career as a Leiden fijnschilder (fine-painter) in the manner of Gerrit Dou. By 1657 he had moved to Amsterdam where his technique gained a graceful fluidity, as is evident here. A woman and her male visitors (to judge from their coats, the walking stick, and the sword) entertain themselves with music as a maid brings refreshments. The bound atlas figure in the background suggests enslavement to sensual delights, which would have amused more than enlightened the contemporary viewer.