A COUPLE AT A TABLE. Eros in the Dutch Golden Age

Oil on panel, dimensions 41,5 x 35,5 cm (frame), 37 x 31 cm (panel). Price € 595.

Here we offer you an authentic seventeenth century wooden panel with a lady and gentleman, presumably a couple, seated at a table. That it is probably a couple is evident from the so-called 'Japanese skirt' of the man. A typical garment for home use. The lady is dressed in a white satin dress, the texture of which is beautifully depicted by the painter.

The gentleman approaches the lady and looks at the viewer as if he feels caught. The dead bird and the whistle on the table are attributes of Eros. The bird evokes associations with the famous painting by Gabriel Metsu "Gift from the hunter", on which a lady is offered a dead bird. This was an undisguised invitation to make love. The whistle on the table is intended as a phallic symbol. The man subtly points to this instrument with his index finger. More can be seen in the painting that reinforces this erotic context. The pearl necklace symbolizes Venus the goddess of love. Love is also accentuated by the red color of the two chairs.

Eroticism in the Dutch Golden Age was definitely not a subject that was taboo. Sexual symbolism can be found on many paintings, prints and texts from that period.

Large parts of the painting have been lost over the centuries. On the left in particular, we suspect that a cloth has hung or a column. Parts have also been restored. The quality of these recovery paintings is remarkably high. The faces as well as the lady’s clothes are a pleasure to look at. The red of the furniture gives the painting an extra playful tone. This combination of authenticity, quality and mystery lends this painting a unique appeal.

This artwork has intentionally not been restored by us to bring it back to its 'original state'. As Benjamin Rous explains in Sluier van de tijd. Het verborgen leven van kunst, time has rendered this painting an extra dimension. Its weathered condition provides it with an undeniable beauty. The painting is worn and retouched but gives a clean and fresh impression. Dirt and aged varnish have been removed. As usual with such old panels, the oak panel is bevelled. It is intact and fitted into a suitable new frame.

17th century couple at table 142-1
17th century couple at table 142-2
17th century couple at table 142-3
17th century couple at table 142-4
17th century couple at table 142-5
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17th century couple at table 142-7
17th century couple at table 142-8
17th century couple at table 142-9
17th century couple at table 142-10