(b. 1629, Leiden, d. 1667, Amsterdam)
The Visit to the Nursery1661
Oil on canvas, 78 x 81 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
This scene, set in an imaginary reception room, depicts a visit to a woman in confinement shortly after giving birth. The extraordinary size of the room, which is suggested by the marble fireplace and the seascape above it, exceeds what would have been found in almost any private house in a Dutch city during the period. The model for the main features of the room: the fireplace and the black-and-white marble floor are derived from the burgomasters' council chamber in the new Town Hall (now the Royal Palace ) of Amsterdam, designed by Jacob van Campen. Pieter de Hooch depicts the same room in a painting now in Madrid. However, it is unlikely that Metsu was influenced by De Hooch's painting, considering that it is usually dated somewhat later than Metsu's The Visit to the Nursery.