Jacob Ochtervelt

The Love Letter

c. 1670
Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 63.5 cm.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
A Woman Reading a Letter with Two Maidservants, Jacob Ochtervelt

OCHTERVELT, Jacob
b. 1634, Rotterdam, d. 1682, Amsterdam

Ochtervelt was a Dutch genre painter active mainly in Rotterdam, but from 1674 he lived in Amsterdam. He was influenced by Pieter de Hooch and through him by Vermeer. Apart from a few portraits and some early hunting party and "merry company" scenes, his paintings are almost all elegant upper-class interiors, in which he showed off a skill in painting silks and satins to rival that of Ter Borch. His figures are extremely refined, but there is often a sexual element in his painting.