An Officer dictating a Letter

The weary expressions of the standing trumpeter and even of the dog indicate that the dictating of the letter has become a time-comsuming affair. The playing card (the ace of hearts) next to the dog's hind leg suggests that the letter is a love letter, rather than official military correspondence.

The model for the young man in the centre was Caspar Netscher, who was ter Borch's pupil in about 1655. The picture dates from around this time.

Key facts

Artist dates
1617 - 1681
Full title
An Officer dictating a Letter
Date made
about 1655-8
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
74.5 x 51 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Mrs M. V. James from the Arthur James collection, 1948
Inventory number
Location in Gallery