Utrecht c. 1632 - 1680 Leiden
Panel, 25.5 x 20.5 cm
Painted circa 1690
Remains of signature: A (on table edge)
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague
Arie de Vois has composed the scene with colourful, bright tones and rapid, assured brushstrokes. In placing the figure close to the edge of the picture plane he has made the representation accessible. What the woman is drinking is not entirely clear: perhaps white wine, although more probably brandy. This had been made since the sixteenth century to enhance substandard imported wines. The distilled brandy was diluted with water to the strength of wine and drunk in römers and other glasses. Square bottles, the so-called kelderfles, were used to transport wine and brandy. Because of their angular shape they were easy to store in straw-lined crates (kelders) and therefore safer to transport. The woman is wearing colourful clothes and is drinking from a fine römer. This tells us something about her social status: unlike the peasants in Buesem and Duyfhuysen’s pictures, she belongs to the urban middle classes.