BABUREN, Dirck van
(b. ca. 1590, Utrecht, d. 1624, Utrecht)

The Procuress

1622
Oil on canvas, 102 x 108 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

From the end of the 1620s paintings containing a clear allusion to sensuality and sexuality increased. Such allusions had been present in an embryonic stage in sixteenth-century Venetian painting. But the authors of these seventeenth-century paintings were not Italian - Italians were evidently inhibited by the Catholic Church's view of morality. Once Netherlandish artists returned to the Low Countries they developed a particular interest in scenes which combined seduction and music. The success of this combination is demonstrated by the sheer number of paintings that have survived.

Baburen's painting is an example of this new genre, Honthorst's Procuress being another.