Gabriel Metsu A Young Woman Composing a Piece of Music
On view in Room 15
This painting is a highlight in the oeuvre of Metsu, who was a master in depicting fabrics and materials. We see a young woman composing a song, while a man looks over her shoulder and another woman plays on her lute. This instrument may refer to the harmony of a happy marriage. To counterbalance it, there is a painting of a ship in stormy seas hanging over the mantelpiece – an allusion to the fickleness of love?
at right, above the door: G. Metsu last four letters abraded
Govert van Slingelandt, The Hague, after 1752-1767; his widow, Agatha Huydecoper, The Hague, 1767-1768; Van Slingelandt sale, The Hague, 18 May 1768 (Lugt 1683), no. 18; the entire collection sold to Prince William V; Prince William V, The Hague, 1768-1795; confiscated by the French, transferred to the Muséum central des arts/Musée Napoléon (Musée du Louvre), Paris, 1795-1815; Royal Picture Gallery, housed in the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague, 1816; transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1822