Gerard ter Borch, Mother Combing Her Child's Hair, known as 'Hunting for Lice', c. 1652 - 1653
A mother is carefully combing her child’s hair in search of lice. The boy is undergoing the inspection stoically. Ter Borch painted many of these genre scenes, in which the main characters are totally absorbed in what they are doing.
Hunting for Lice probably contains a moral, as maternal care, orderliness and cleanliness were the ideal qualities of a good housewife. In the seventeenth century, the lice comb stood for both a clean appearance and a pure character.