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The Music Lesson

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Jacob Ochtervelt
Dutch, 1634-1682

About this artwork

One of Jacob Ochtervelt’s finest works, The Music Lesson was probably painted in Rotterdam, where the artist spent most of his career. The delicate light, which illuminates the girl and leaves the youth partly in shadow, is indebted to Johannes Vermeer, who worked in the nearby city of Delft. Characteristic of Ochtervelt, however, are the angled poses and the playful interchange between the figures. The girl holds a violin, an instrument more often played by men, and points authoritatively to the music score in an ironic reversal of the roles of the sexes.


On View, Gallery 212


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Jacob Ochtervelt


The Music Lesson


Holland (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Sign: Jac. Octervelt


80.2 × 65.5 cm (31 × 25 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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