Milkmaid after the painting of G.Dou in the Cabinet of Mr. Poullain

Artist: After Gerrit Dou (Dutch, Leiden 1613–1675 Leiden)

Artist: Charles François Adrien Macret (French, Abbeville 1751–1789 Paris)

Date: mid-17th century

Medium: Engraving

Dimensions: Plate: 6 5/16 x 4 15/16 in. (16 x 12.5 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917

Accession Number: 17.3.1771


This modest print records Dou's painting (Musée du Louvre, Paris) shortly after 1780, when it was sold from the Poulain collection in Paris. As in similar scenes invented by Dou during the 1640s and 1650s, the pretty kitchen maid is surrounded by motifs that had for decades stood for male and female private parts. Lost in the engraving, however, is the original play between two forms of seduction: that of the young woman and her friendly gaze, on the one hand, and that of illusionism (which seduces sight), on the other.