TERBRUGGHEN, Hendrick
(b. 1588, Deventer, d. 1629, Utrecht)

Boy Playing a Fife

1621
Oil on canvas, 71 x 56 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

In his genre paintings, Terbrugghen, instead of using small figures in a spatious setting, as his contemporaries did, concentrated (following the style of Caravaggio) on one or only a few figures, mostly life-size, seen close to and strongly outlined against a plain background. What these pictures shared, however, with those of the contemporaries, was the moral content.

The actual meaning of the Flute Player is difficult to establish, it might be an illustration of Hearing, as one of the Five Senses.