Jan Steen’s paintings often have a touch of eroticism. Here, a young woman is looking at us coquettishly while preparing an oyster. Oysters were known as an aphrodisiac, and this girl seems to be offering more than just good food.
This small painting is meant to be studied close up. So Steen painted it very precisely and in great detail. Take the silver tray with bread and salt, for example. Or the fashionable jacket with fur and velvet – you can almost stroke it.