Skip to main content
A Lady at a Spinning-wheel
Caspar Netscher

A young woman takes a moment from her spinning to look out from a dark room, her gaze direct. Although she holds a long length of raw half-spun wool, her mind isn‘t on the task. She’s more interested in whoever has taken her by surprise.

Netscher specialised in small genre scenes before he took to portrait painting, and such pictures of women alone in a domestic setting seem to bridge the gap between the two – half genre, half portrait. This seems like a real woman looking out at us, though we don’t know who she was.

Like his teacher, Gerard ter Borch, Netscher took pains to portray texture faithfully, especially the rich fabrics of the fashions of his day. Here, he has added a subtle erotic nuance – in the wool she brushes against her lips, the pearl nestling against her cheek and the white satin slipping over her knee.

Key facts
Artist Caspar Netscher
Artist dates 1635/6 - 1684
Full title A Lady at a Spinning-wheel
Date made 1665
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 22.5 x 17.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG845
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo