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Within Bloemaert’s oeuvre, The flute player is the earliest example of a musician, painted as single half-figure that fills the entire canvas. Although Bloemaert's painting is among the earliest surviving examples of this new type, it was definitely not his invention. It was an Italian theme that Bloemaert encountered indirectly through his pupils. Bloemaert has placed the boy's face just off the middle axis, so that the illuminated eye is at the centre. The glow of the candle creates an exceptionally subtle interplay of light and colour. The jug in the foreground serves as a repoussoir and hides the light source.

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