This is the earliest dated painting by Dou. In it, a young musician looks up, his playing momentarily interrupted. Dou took evident delight in the play of light and shadow, and the rendering of surface textures, especially reflective materials. The musician is surrounded by books, music and a globe, which allude to learning. This reference is appropriate for Leiden, a distinguished university city, and the location of Dou?s workshop. Pieter Spiering, Swedish ambassador to the Netherlands (1637-1645) bought the painting for Queen Christina of Sweden.