This dummy board (or 'silent companion') shows a Dutch woman peeling an apple. It is not clear exactly how such dummy boards were used, but they may have acted as firescreens. This one has been at Dyrham Park since at least 1703, when it was listed in the property inventory as 'a Woman paring an Apple'. Interestingly, none of the other pictures listed in the 1703 inventory are named by artist or subject, and just appear as 'pictures' under the appropriate room heading – this makes it quite hard to identify them!
Where to see this painting?
National Trust, Dyrham Park
Dyrham, near Bath, Gloucestershire, England, SN14 8ER
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.