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An Interior with a Young Violinist

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An Interior with a Young Violinist 1637


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.

Glossary Open


The depiction of an animal or an inanimate object with human characteristics.


The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Personification, Symbolism


  • Acc. No. NG 2420
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size Arched top: 31.10 x 23.70 cm
  • Credit Purchased with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund 1984