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Frans van Mieris the Elder, Brothel Scene, c. 1658 - 1659

A soldier has his glass topped up by the barmaid. With his other hand, he tries to pull her closer. The glances they exchange and her open cleavage leave us in no doubt, as do the mating dogs behind them on the right – this is a brothel.

This is a highlight in the oeuvre of Frans van Mieris, one of the Leiden ‘fijnschilders’, or fine painters. His amazing technique is displayed well in the barmaid’s clothing and the man’s cuirass.

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