The Game Seller
Gabriel Metsu (Dutch, 1629 – 1667)
Date 17th-18th century
MediumOil on panel
DimensionsWork : 19 1/2 x 15 in. (49.53 x 38.1 cm)
Frame : 25 x 21 in. (63.5 x 53.34 cm)
Credit LinePurchased with funds donated by Judith Kingma '56 Hazelton
LabelGenre painting refers to images that depict scenes of everyday life, often in a way that is amusing or provides commentary on some social issue. Genre paintings first became popular in northern Europe during the 17th century and remained in demand for more than 200 years. This image of a young housewife buying game animals from an older woman outside a rundown house was originally painted by the Amsterdam-based artist Gabriel Metsu in the mid-17th century, but exists today in at least a dozen other copies painted between the late 17th and early 19th centuries. While the interaction of the two women is clearly the main focus of the painting, the young man unsheathing a knife at the customer’s side invites us to imagine how the story will continue to unfold after the moment depicted here.