National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Intruder Gabriel Metsu (artist)
Dutch, 1629 - 1667
The Intruder, c. 1660
oil on panel
overall: 66.6 x 59.4 cm (26 1/4 x 23 3/8 in.) framed: 93.4 x 85.1 x 12.1 cm (36 3/4 x 33 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
On View
From the Tour: Johannes Vermeer and Dutch Scenes of Daily Life in the 1600s
Object 2 of 8

Conservation Notes

The original support, an oak panel with vertical grain, has been thinned, backed, and cradled. An x-radiograph taken in 1940 shows the painting prior to cradling and suggests the panel is composed of a single board. Paint is applied smoothly over an off-white ground in a thin series of glazes in the darks and more thickly in the lights, with small brushstrokes blended wet into wet and the highlights in low impasto. The upper layer of light-colored paint in the floorboards was deliberately scraped back in places to reveal the dark underlayer.

Infrared reflectography shows several pentimenti, some of which are visible with the naked eye. The proper right hand of the seated figure at left has been reworked, and the rear leg of her chair has been shortened. The chair at right was once wider to the left and the nearby pitcher was once squatter with a wider mouth. The vertical bed curtains at far left below the tassel were also adjusted. At high magnification preliminary drawing along the mouth of the pitcher and the proper right hand of the seated figure at left are visible.

Several areas of abrasion were extensively repainted in the past. Much of the repaint was removed during a 1986 conservation treatment. Remnants of old repainting remain over the green bed curtains, which are quite abraded, the dark chair cushions at right, and the white fur trim of the green jacket. The green jacket at left is somewhat abraded and the upper paint layer has blanched. An upper layer of glaze has also been abraded in the brown skirt of the maid in the right background. Original paint in the deeper shades of the red slippers and red clothing on the chair at right has blanched and the pigment altered to gray.[1]

[1] Pigment analysis is available in the Scientific Research department (1 August 1986).

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Artist Information
Exhibition History

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