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Family Group at Dinner Table
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Gift of J. Paul Getty
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Quiringh Gerritsz. van Brekelenkam
Dutch, Delft, about 1658 - 1660
Oil on canvas
22 5/8 x 28 3/8 in.
70.PA.20

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Just finishing a Sunday meal, the members of this well-to-do family may be getting ready to return to church. The mother hands a prayer book to the younger of the boys, and the little girl holds her freshly starched cap and fan. Quiringh Gerritsz. van Brekelenkam appears to have combined a family portrait and a genre scene with a moralizing message.

Van Brekelenkam emphasized the moral message by placing the large, framed landscape in the background. As the family displays domestic virtues, the painting within the painting shows a couple gazing at a ship at sea under a dark sky illuminated by a shaft of light. The painting within their home serves as a reminder to the family to look to the light as they continue on life's uncertain voyage.