It is the procuress’ job to arrange ‘love for money’ by bringing men in contact with women of questionable repute. With her colourful clothing, her cleavage and the feathers in her hair, she is easy to distinguish from the average citizen. The feathers are a reference to her wanton character. The lute, which she is holding by the neck, had a clear, sexual connotation in the 17th century. The shadows of the hand of the boy and the girl meet each other on the instrument. Scenes illuminated by a single candle were the speciality of ‘Gherardo della Notte’, as the Romans admiringly called him.


  • Title: The procuress
  • Creator: Gerard van Honthorst
  • Creator Lifespan: 1592 - 1656
  • Creator Nationality: Dutch
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Creator Death Place: Utrecht
  • Creator Birth Place: Utrecht
  • Date Created: 1625
  • Physical Dimensions: w104 x h71 cm
  • Type: paintings
  • Rights: purchased with support of Vereniging Rembrandt, 1951
  • External Link: Centraal Museum

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