The senses are represented in this painting by the five main figures, each of whom holds or does something associated with a particular sense. But while the senses are short-lived, true love, symbolized by the statue of Cupid, is eternal. Such a grand and moralizing painting was probably commissioned by someone both learned and wealthy, presumably a member of the van Rijn family whose children are believed to be the models in the painting.
In 1730, Elizabeth van Rijn married Jacques-Philippe d'Orville, a celebrated Amsterdam professor, from whose descendant this painting was purchased in 2001. Lairesse was one of the greatest and most celebrated artists of his day, and a leading exponent of French-style Classicism.
Where to see this painting?
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G3 8AG
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
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