Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667), A Woman Reading a Letter, c. 1664-1666, National Gallery of Ireland. Sir Alfred and Lady Beit Gift, 1987. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland. Photographer Roy Hewson. NGI 4537


From 16 December to 20 March 2011 – Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

This autumn at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam the work of Gabriel Metsu (1629 – 1667), one of the most influential Dutch genre painters of the 17th century, will be put back in the spotlight. Metsu’s paintings beautifully depict everyday life during the Golden Age, with scenes such as a young man writing a love letter, a kitchen maid peeling an apple and an old man raising a glass. Despite his relatively short life, Metsu was one of the most popular painters of his time and his paintings were sold at high prices. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Metsu was more popular than Vermeer, whose paintings were sometimes even attributed to him. The Rijksmuseum has brought together over 35 of his best paintings from museums across the world and private collections, including works which were recently rediscovered and brought back to the Netherlands, in some cases after more than 250 years.

Museum Hours