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Interior with a Woman at the Virginal

Interior with a Woman at the Virginal

Emanuel de Witte (in 1665 - 1670)

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  • Ivan Bercedo asked

    Isn't another version of this De Witte painting in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts?
    Which are the main differences?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Ivan, It is true that an almost identical version of this painting can be found in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The version in Montreal is alternately regarded as being an old copy or a second version of the artist’s hand. At the time that these paintings were made, Emanuel de Witte used to live in with his patrons in exchange for paintings. It could be that because of a remaining debt at his former patron, De Witte made two versions of this painting so he could give the other one to his recent patron. But we don't know for sure. There's no documents supporting this theory, while this ís the case with some other works by De Witte. It might be nice to know that the Stedelijk Museum of Alkmaar is preparing an exhibition about Emanuel de Witte, in which they are aiming to bring the paintings back together for the first time. This exhibition is planned in the fall of 2017. Best regards, Tanja van Oostrum

  • francesca bianchi asked

    Hello, I work for school about the "interior with a woman at the virginal" and I am trying to draw the plan of the house. Do you know any informations about it? Thank you!

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Francesca, unfortunately we don't have a plan of the house. In general however, it is assumed that it wasn't an existing space but an imaginary construct by the artist. Good luck with the assignment! Rianne

  • nanna wülfing asked

    hi,
    when will "Interior with a Woman at the Virginal" by Emanuel de WItte be on Display again?
    Where is travelling at the moment?
    many thanks
    Nanna Wülfing,
    Dortmund Germany

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Nanna,

    The painting is now part of an exhibition at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam called KWAB: Dutch Design in de eeuw van Rembrandt (Dutch Design in the age of Rembrandt). This exhibition started on 30th of June and lasts until the 16th of September 2018. However, we do not know when the painting will be on display in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen again. If the painting is on display in the museum you can see this by the orange tab ‘now on display’ on the right side of the object on our collection website.

    Kind regards,
    Nina

  • Susan Phaneuf asked

    Some research into this de Witte painting mentions that originally it was thought to be a Pieter de Hooch and that this mystery was only solved in 1929. Can you shed light on this?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Susan, In Masters of seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1984 it reads: “The past attribution of this work to Pieter de Hooch was undoubtly due to the masterful treatment of space. De Hooch, who certainly knew de Witte’s work in Amsterdam in the early 1660s, had probably encountered it even earlier in Delft.” … “However, the system in the present work of distributing light in bands – a technique often encountered in de Witte’s church interiors – was foreign to de Hooch” And this painting is falsely signed on the lower right “P. de Hooch”. p. 361. The research directed me to this book: Ilse Manke, Emanuel de Witte (1617-1692), Menno Hertzberger & Co, Amsterdam, 1963 / J.G. van Gelder. Unfortunately we don't have it in the library. If you could find and read it, probably you could be more informed about the attribution of this painting. All the best, Xin

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More information

The complicated spatial construction in this 'Interior with woman playing a harpischord and an officer' is achieved by the perspective and the patches of sunlight coming in. It seems as if an amorous situation is being depicted. Playing the instrument is explained as a reference to love. It is also thought that the man in bed, who is listening to the music, is suffering from a disease, namely erotic melancholy, and the music is a medicine against the pain.

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Collection book

Collection book Order

Specifications

Title Interior with a Woman at the Virginal
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height 77.5 cm
Width 104.5 cm
Artists Schilder: Emanuel de Witte
Accession number 2313 (OK)
Credits Bruikleen / Loan: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed 1948
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1948
Age artist Between 48 and 53 years old
Exhibitions The Collection Enriched (2011)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
External exhibitions Kwab (2018)
Behind the Curtain. Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance (2016)
Meester van het licht (2017)
Research Alma
Material
Object
Geographical origin Amsterdam > North Holland > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Emanuel de Witte

Alkmaar 1617 - Amsterdam 1692

Around the 1640s, Emanuel de Witte became a pupil of the Delft-based still life artist Evert van Aelst. In 1652 he moved to Amsterdam. From 1641, De Witte...

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