Dutch 17th–century artists drew their subject matter from all elements of society. The artist who best captured the refinement of the wealthy bourgeoisie in the second half of the century was Gerard ter Borch. In this example, an elegant gentleman bows gracefully as he enters the room. A young woman wearing a beautiful satin dress with an orange–red jacket stands to greet him while another woman sits at a table playing a theorbo, a musical instrument. Behind this group a man warms his hands at a fireplace. The costumes, instruments, imposing mantelpiece, and gilded wallpaper all attest to the high social status of the figures.
Ter Borch's exquisite painting technique, which consisted of delicate touches with the brush and the use of thin glazes to suggest transparencies, allowed him to create realistic textural effects, whether of lace, satin, or the pile of a wool tablecloth. His main focus was the psychological interaction of the two protagonists, the suitor and the standing woman. These two figures are clearly communicating through their glances and gestures. Seen in the context of the musical instruments and dog, both of which have associations of love, their meeting has strong sexual overtones.