The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
A Merry Company at Table
  • Hendrick Gerritsz. Pot (1585 - 1657)
  • A Merry Company at Table
  • Netherlands
  • c. 1625 - c. 1630
  • Painting
  • Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 58.5 x 81.4 cm
  • Signature: 'HP' in monogram
  • P192
  • East Galleries I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • A brothel scene, as implied by the discarded rapier, lute and dog in the foreground symbolising the disarming power of love and carnal desire. An elderly brothel keeper watches from a doorway as her girls flirt with the soldiers. The figures seated around the table make music together, a common euphemism for making love, and play cards and smoke, both considered vices at the time. A sense of collusion is established with the viewer through the direct, knowing gaze of the cavalier, sitting on the extreme right below the chimney breast, while a mirror on the background wall reminds the viewer to examine his own behaviour before judging others.