The Lacemaker

Bernhard Keil Danish

Not on view

After training in his native Denmark, Bernhard Keil worked in Rembrandt’s studio and then, in 1651, left the Dutch Republic for Italy, where he eventually settled in Rome. This painting belongs to this last period in the artist’s career and shows more affinity with Italian painting than with the Dutch art of his youth. Although this appears to be a straightforward portrayal of a girl occupied by her knitting and lacemaking, many of Keil’s genre scenes had double meanings. Scholars have suggested that this painting belonged to a series of the five senses, and that the girl, focusing on her labor before the watchful gaze of the cat, may represent the sense of sight.

The Lacemaker, Bernhard Keil (Danish, 1624–1687), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.