The Neglected Lute (c.1708). Willem van Mieris (Dutch, 1662-1747). Oil on panel. Royal Collection Trust.
The scene is one of seduction, combining the pleasures of taste, love and music in a suitably grand interior. The man is encouraging the woman to drink whilst her lapdog barks at the black servant. The oysters - recognised for their aphrodisiacal qualities - are moist and delicately coloured. Great care has been lavished on the texture of the various surfaces.