Jan Miense Molenaer is known for his collective and social portraits, but his reputation comes above all from his genre paintings. As rustic as they are elegant, they have a tendency to be moralistic, and depict the interiors of taverns as upper-class interiors.
This oil on wood presents a musical scene during the preparation of a meal. An old man seems to be interrupting by putting a hand on the shoulder of the musician, to convey a particular element of the song. In the background a couple embrace. By the foot of the young man seated in the foreground, there is a pitcher, probably filled with wine, and the presence of a dog, a symbol of loyalty. This little scene stands out by it's lewd evocations, drinking sessions and delight often depicted in this era.
It seems a warning to this type of person, cautioning, "you enjoy these pleasant moments, of course, but don't forget, you are only passing on this earth!"
Based on the texts of Sandrine Le Bideau in the catalog Flemish and Dutch paintings—Collection of the Châteauroux museums (Peintures Flamande et Hollandaise—Collection des Musées de Châteauroux) Somogy-Editions d'Art.