The Musician

Bartholomeus van der Helst Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

Tuning the strings of her theorbo-lute, a beautiful musician directs an engaging glance at the viewer. The foreground of the picture displays a viola da gamba and sheet music for tenor and soprano voices, suggesting that the lute player anticipates a duet. Dutch painters of the seventeenth century frequently associated music-making and courtship with amateur concerts, providing opportunities for mingling and flirtation.

The Musician, Bartholomeus van der Helst (Dutch, Haarlem, born ca. 1612–15, died 1670 Amsterdam), Oil on canvas

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