(b. 1629, Leiden, d. 1667, Amsterdam)
The Sleeping Sportsman1657-59
Oil on canvas, 40 x 35 cm
Wallace Collection, London
Gabriel Metsu was born at Leiden and is said tro have been a pupil of gerrit Dou. He was active in Leiden during most of his brief career, but like other artists from provincial centres, he was finally attracted by the opportunities Amsterdam offered. He had settled in the city by 1657 and spent the rest of his life there. His early Leiden works, which include rather broadly brushed religious and allegorical pictures, as well as genre paintings, do not show signs of Dou's influence or the high finish and polished manner assiciated with the Leiden School. It was onnly after Metsu had settled in Amsterdam that he adopted more of the Leiden 'fijnschilder' technique and became a prolific painter of the well-to-do bourgeoisie.