Gabriel Metsu Life and Work: A Catalogue Raisonné Adriaan Waiboer

Publication date:
31 Oct 2012
Yale University Press
408 pages: 11 x 10mm
78 color + 170 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Despite his untimely death in 1667 at the age of thirty-seven, Gabriel Metsu left an astounding collection of history paintings, portraits, still lifes, and exquisite genre scenes. These charming depictions of kitchen maids, elegant young ladies, hunters, drinkers, and amorous couples have gained Metsu a place among the most celebrated painters of 17th-century Holland. His work ranges from group portraits of the families of wealthy merchants, to wistful portraits of single women and bustling genre scenes of markets and taverns. Meeting the demands of the early Dutch art market, Metsu mastered a number of different artistic styles.

However, Metsu's biography has remained largely enigmatic. This absorbing book provides insight into his life and details the network of personal and professional connections that influenced him. Following the successful exhibition of the artist's work last year, this book promotes greater understanding of the full range of Metsu's career, and the catalogue raisonné provides a detailed and informative record of his entire known oeuvre.

Adriaan Waiboer is curator of Northern painting at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

"This impressive study evaluates Metsu’s achievement in the context of 17th century Dutch painting."—Apollo Magazine

"[A] once-in-a-generation study." —David Ekserdjian, The Spectator

“The research is fastidious and the book sumptuously produced, with extensive commentary, detailed entries and an abundant supply of colour reproductions and comparative illustrations. Following barely one year after the monographic exhibition devoted of Metsu’s work held in Dublin, Amsterdam and Washington (2010-11), these two studies go a long way in clarifying the importance of this attractive and versatile artist and his position in mid-seventeenth century Dutch genre painting.”

- Peter C. Sutton, Burlington Magazine

“The appearance of this monograph, which reveals several little-known masterpieces such as the so-called Le Corset rouge, and its indispensable catalogue is not only timely but overdue.” - Peter C. Sutton, Burlington Magazine

Page spreads