Feb 7, 2019

Musical Scene

Musical Scene


Gerrit van Honthorst

(Dutch, 1590–1656)

Black ink wash over pen and brown ink and black chalk over graphite on gray-brown paper with white heightening, incised

Sheet: 17.3 x 20.4 cm (6 13/16 x 8 1/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2019.6


Did you know?

In 17th-century Holland, scenes of men and women playing music together often had amorous connotations.


The Utrecht artist Gerrit van Honthorst was internationally known as a portrait painter, but he also gained a reputation as a painter of raucous musical scenes and parties. This drawing was once part of an album of compositional types that the artist showed to prospective patrons. Though the cheerful theme of a man and a woman sharing a song seems innocent, such unions often had amorous or lascivious connotations in 17th-century Holland.

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