Jan Miense Molenaer: Woman playing on a virginal (1630 - 1640)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A nice piece from the Dutch painter Jan Miense Molenaer (1610-1668). A young woman, orginally interpreted as a portrait of the artist Judith Leyster (1600/10-1660) and the wife of Jan Miense Molenaer, playing on a virginal. A nice detail is that the woman has her feet resting on a foot-warmer  in which a pot with hot coals are placed. Two children (perhaps the 2 children Helena and Constantijn of the Jan Miese and Judith Leyster) are standing behind the instrument while a young man enters the room. The monkey on the virginal is a symbol (more of an warning against) of earthly desires. Painting from 1630-1640.

For those interested, this is how a virginal sounds (link to youtube): Rowland by William Byrd on virginal

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