Look out for the finely painted details in Dou’s paintings.
Feast your eyes on the delicacies on the window ledge, for example.
De Hooch is known for his views through into other spaces, revealing backgrounds where there’s much more to discover.
A maid approaches in the courtyard with a new jug of wine and fresh pipes.
Maes’s housewife is asking you to be quiet, but why?
In the cellar the maid is canoodling with her lover in secret.
Van Ostade portrays the life of honest, simple peasants in their unkempt house
The most charming detail is the mother holding up a doll for her young daughter.
This is one of Jan Steen’s most beautiful paintings. It has an unprecedented elegance, but is also rather risqué.
The Dutch words schoen (shoe) and kous (stocking) were used to refer to women of easy virtue in the 17th century.
The door to the woman’s bedroom is wide open…
Space and light
Vermeer was mainly concerned with three-dimensional space and the light in his paintings.
In the mirror we can also see the woman’s face and the feet of the easel at which Vermeer was painting.
Vermeer allows the light to reflect beautifully on the carpet, the white pitcher and the copper studs of the chair.