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Jan Steen (Leiden 1626-Leiden 1679)

A Woman at her Toilet

RCIN 404804

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Though painted in Haarlem, this work is clearly inspired by the recent work of De Hooch and Vermeer. The woman undressing represents the sins associated with desire – her vanity and our lasciviousness. The viewer thinks to pick up the lute and serenade her, but it rests upon a skull entwined with ivy, symbols of the transitory nature of life. Acquired by George IV in 1821 Cat. 22