Seventeenth century cabinet paintings may be comparatively small in size, but they are exquisite windows on complex, fascinating worlds. Usually executed on wood panel or copper, they were designed for the modestly-proportioned rooms of Dutch town houses or the intimate chambers of Flemish country mansions, where the smallest pictures might be held in the hand, angled to the light like precious jewels. They are glimpsed as paintings-within-a-painting in the works of Jan Vermeer and Gabriel Metsu. Cabinet pictures caught the imagination of eighteenth and nineteenth century connoisseurs: George IV and the Marquess of Hertford built up very fine collections. Their breathtaking skill continues to delight.
147 New Bond Street