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Paintings of Merry Companies (a group of people playing music together or otherwise entertaining themselves in a domestic setting) were very popular in Holland in the early 1630s. This is a particularly distinctive example: a shaft of bright sunlight gives the composition a clear structure and brings sharpness and life to the details depicted. The artist has also restricted himself to just two key colours – luminous yellows and vibrant pinks – which glow and shimmer against the cool, shadowy greys of the background.
Oil on oak
H 40 x W 55.8 cm
Salting Bequest, 1910