Van der Neer painted a number of pictures depicting elegant female figures occupied in polite occupations such as reading (1665; New York, Metropolitan Museum) and playing musical instruments (Copenhagen, Staatliche Museum), which, like 'A Lady Drawing', present a paradigm of feminine behaviour for the leisured classes. Their smooth, highly finished technique recalls that of the Leiden ‘Fine Painters’ (cf. Dou and Van Mieris), while their subjects are comparable to the fashionably dressed women in interiors painted by Terborch (q.v.). Van der Neer was one of the few artists of the late seventeenth century who continued to incorporate symbolic meaning in his pictures, which are lent added sophistication by the fashionable French costumes of his subjects and the rich architectural settings in which they appear. The present picture, which is comparable in handling to the New York 'A Lady Reading', is dateable c.1665.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
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