How you can use this image
All rights reserved.
This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other exceptions to copyright permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.
For all other types of use please visit the owning collection’s website for more information about permitted uses and licensing.
Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.
A pretty girl, modelled on Terborch’s half-sister Gesina, sits at a table, its covering pushed aside to allow her to work. Instead, her sewing lies forgotten in its basket as she reads a letter. Young people reading or writing letters in Dutch paintings of the period are indicators of amorous correspondence and intrigue. In this case the distracting power of love is emphasised by the heroine’s neglect of her proper household duties.
oil on canvas
44.2 x 32.2 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1848; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897