by Caspar Netscher
(b. 1639, Prague, d. 1684, The Hague)
Presentation of the Medallion
Oil on canvas, 62 x 67,5 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest
A young officer kneels to present a medallion to a young woman sitting by a table. She receives his attentions with no show of emotion, unlike the woman behind her and the young man beside her who are preparing to drink a toast. A feature of this work is the splendid painting of the elaborate costumes worn by the protagonists. It is not possible, nor is it important, to decide whether the officer is making a declaration of love or merely handing over the medallion on behalf of some absent friend.
Netscher became a pupil of Terborch sometime during the 1650s and he was the pupil who most successfully emulated the style of his master. As a young man he made excellent copies of Terborch's works. It has been suspected that the Presentation of the Medallion is an adaptation of a painting by Terborch. Although it is typical of the best of Netscher's work, the somewhat affected gesture foreshadows the approach of the later more mannered period of genre painting.