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Gabriel Metsu

1629 - 1667

Metsu was born at Leiden, where he was probably trained by Gerrit Dou, the leading local painter. He became a founder member of the Leiden painters' guild in 1648 and produced (until about 1655) religious and mythological scenes, as well as the domestic subjects in which he later specialised.

Metsu was the son of a painter of Flemish origin. He lived in Leiden (except for a short absence in 1651) until 1657, when he moved to Amsterdam, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Metsu's earliest paintings display little relationship to the work of his master, Dou. He was an eclectic artist and his paintings show at different times the influences of Jan Steen, Nicolaes Knüpfer, Dou and ter Borch. Most of his pictures are genre scenes but he also painted religious subjects as well as a few portraits, still lifes and game places.