Saturday, February 9, 2008

Gabriel Metsu

The Letter Reader (1665) Gabriel Metsu

This artist was born in Leiden, Holland (1629-67) and later lived and worked in Amsterdam. He is most known for his striking similarity to Vermeer and for his genre scenes.

"This is one of Metsu's finest paintings and is also a reflection on the place of art in 17th century Dutch society. The servant who has delivered the letter pulls back a curtain covering a picture (they were often hung like this) so that she may
examine it. Paintings were indeed so abundant in 17th century Holland that they could be enjoyed by all levels of society rather than being the preserve of the rich
and privileged. (John Julius Norwich)

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