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This horizontal painting shows a group of eight light skinned musicians and onlookers gathered closely around a rectangular, carpet-covered table. The front edge of the table runs parallel to the bottom edge of the painting, and seems close to us. Shown from about the waist up, the men and women’s vivid blue, red, yellow, and green garments fall in crisp folds. Bright reflections on the fabric suggest a satin-like material. Two women wear feathers in their hair and one man’s hat is plumed. One man, wearing crimson and black, sits with his back towards us to our left on the near side of the table. He holds the neck of a bass viol, about the size of a cello, with his left hand and points to pages of an open music book with the bow in his right hand. The other figures cluster on the opposite side of the table. A man to the left plays a violin; a woman at the center plays a guitar-sized bandora and a woman to our right plays a lute. The musicians, along with a man who leans over the table from between the two women, look down at the music books. A young man behind the woman at the center holds up a glass of pale liquid with his right hand as he touches his left forefinger to his smiling lips. A man and woman stand close together in the background to our right, in the top right corner of the canvas.

Gerrit van Honthorst, The Concert, 1623, oil on canvas, Patrons' Permanent Fund and Florian Carr Fund, 2013.38.1

The Art of Looking

Gerrit van Honthorst, The Concert

  • Friday, January 7, 2022
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Registration Required
  • Virtual Program

Gerrit van Honthorst's The Concert is the inspiration for this interactive conversation. Join us and share your observations, interpretations, questions, and ideas, and build on your own first impressions to broaden your understanding of this work of art. This session lasts one hour and is completely interactive.

National Gallery educators will facilitate the conversation to create an environment for shared learning. These conversations will encourage you to engage deeply with art, with others, and with the world around you as you hone skills in visual literacy and perspective-taking.

This program is free and open to the public and is designed for anyone interested in talking about art. No art or art history background is required. Ages 18 and over.

Due to the interactive nature of this program, sessions are not recorded.

Live Captions

Live captions (CART) are available in some breakout rooms for this program. Please contact [email protected] to request access or for more information.