VERKOLJE, Johannes I
(b. 1650, Amsterdam, d. 1693, Delft)

The Messenger

Oil on canvas, 59 x 54 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Verkolje was the last of several Delft painters to depict a patrician ideal. His pictures such as The Messenger are saturated with elite values. An officer and a lady play tric-trac in a stately room. The lady, seated on an ornately carved stool, is dressed in a striking satin dress of a type routinely found in paintings by Terborch. The table, bedecked with an extensive carpet, holds the game board as well as wine and fruit, the latter lying on an expensive silver serving tray. A messenger delivers a note to the officer; judging from the latter's facial expression, he knows that the news cannot be good.