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Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-Leiden 1679)

A Woman at her Toilet Signed and dated 1663

Oil on panel | 65.8 x 53.0 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 404804

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The arch looks like an altar surround, the room seen through it like a chamber of sinful pleasure. On the altar ledge is a lute with music – the attributes of a serenading lover – resting upon a skull entwined with ivy, a reminder of the transience of earthly things.

Acquired by George IV in 1821