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Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-Leiden 1679)

A Woman at her Toilet Signed and dated 1663

RCIN 404804

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Beneath this woman’s fur-trimmed jacket we see a glimpse of pink stays, an undergarment worn over the smock which was stiffened with dried grasses or strips of baleen (sometimes called whalebone) sewn into channels and used to shape and support the female torso. The sitter is either removing or pulling on one blue stocking – is she inviting the viewer beyond the arch into temptation or have they already succumbed?