Music making was a common leisure activity of European peasant and middle classes during the 17th century, and many Dutch painters produced lively scenes of singers and musicians in close-up, half-length compositions. Many baroque artists painted in a dramatic style, which fell under the influence of theatrical conventions, exemplified in this painting by the curtain swag in the left corner and the dramatic gesture and lighting.

It is difficult to determine the specific circumstances of this music-making scene. The flowers in the hair of the singing figures in front and the flowered wreath over their heads are clues that the subject may be a May Day festival.

It is possible that the figure on the right wearing a white turban is a self-portrait of the artist.


  • Title: A Musical Party
  • Creator: Abraham van der Schoor
  • Date Created: 1657
  • Physical Dimensions: Canvas/Support Dimensions: 102.9 x 135.9 cm, Canvas/Support Dimensions: 40 1/2 x 53 1/2 in
  • Type: paintings
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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