The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Lute Player
  • Willem van Mieris (1662 - 1747)
  • The Lute Player
  • Netherlands
  • 1711
  • Painting
  • Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 50 x 40.5 cm
  • Signature: 'W. Van Mieris. Fct Anno. 1711', 't' in 'fct' appears above fc
  • P155
  • East Galleries III
Further Reading
  • The bas-relief in the left background of a man embracing a woman, and the naked statues of Venus and Hercules, provide an erotic mythological subtext to a scene of contemporary seduction, where a gentleman offers a lady a glass of wine. His intentions are made clear by the large plate of oysters – a well-known aphrodisiac – in the foreground. The lady, however, seems hesitant. Musical accompaniment often symbolizes amorous harmony, but here the lady holds, rather than plays, her theorbo. Two figures look on, intrigued by the proceedings.