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Netscher’s undisputed masterpiece, 'The Lace Maker' is one of the most successful representations of idealised female virtue in Dutch art. The girl’s modest woollen dress implies her lack of vanity, while her absorption in the delicate and difficult task of lace-making underlines her seriousness and moral probity. Stylistically the picture reveals Netcher’s sensitivity to the formal experiments of the Delft School, in particular to the understated light-filled interiors of De Hooch and Vermeer. The concentrated subject, bold restricted palette and sculptural quality of the figure, offset against a luminous white wall, lend the picture an aura of monumental gravity, belying its modest dimensions.

The Wallace Collection





oil on canvas


H 33 x W 27 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, 1804; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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