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in Medieval European Paintings
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Woman Washing Hands
c. 1655
Oak, 53 x 43 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

by Gerard Terborch (b.1617 in Zwolle – d. 1681 in Deventer), Dutch subject painter, was born in the province of Overijssel, the Netherlands.

At Deventer, Ter Borch developed an independent form of genre which in the meticulousness of its execution seems to be close to the Leiden variant. In connection with his remarkable talent for sensitive rendering of the texture of different fabrics, which in all of his mature paintings constitutes a major pictorial motive, Ter Borch showed a preference for subjects associated with Vanity or Luxury. This preference must have a partially aesthetic background, for these subjects allowed him to paint elegant interiors and richly dressed ladies, as in this picture.