Gallant Conversation, known as 'The Paternal Admonition'

Gerard ter BorchAround 1653 - Around 1655


Amsterdam, Netherlands

This painting used to be known as The paternal admonition, but the observant viewer will see that this is not a father admonishing his daughter. The man, a soldier, is simply too young. The scene is in fact set in a brothel: the man is a customer, the elegant young lady is the prostitute, and the woman just taking a sip from her glass is the procuress. The bed in the background and the table with mirror likewise point in this direction. Gerard ter Borch rendered this delicate subject matter so subtly that some confusion originated about nature of the work.

From the collection of Willem Lormier (The Hague). Purchased in 1809, as part of the Van Heteren Gevers collection (The Hague).


  • Title: Gallant Conversation, known as 'The Paternal Admonition'
  • Creator: Gerard ter Borch
  • Creator Death Place: Deventer, The Netherlands
  • Creator Birth Place: Zwolle, The Netherlands
  • Date Created: Around 1653 - Around 1655
  • Style: Northern Netherlands School
  • Provenance: Purchased with the Kabinet van Heteren Gevers, The Hague-Rotterdam, 1809
  • Physical Dimensions: w730 x h710 mm
  • Original Title: Interieur met drie figuren die met elkaar in gesprek zijn; bekend als 'De vaderlijke vermaning'
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: See more on the Rijksmuseum website
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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