Maes painted a considerable number of moralistic themes based on domestic life during the 1650s. This particular work, in vertical format, depicts a series of interiors elaborated on two different levels. The main figure captures the viewer’s gaze in an attitude that begs for silence in the face of the act he is performing: eavesdropping and eavesdropping on the secondary action. The painting responds directly to the everyday performance of carrying out the management of a house. The broom is thrown at the foot of the stairs, suggesting that domestic chores have been abandoned in favour of other distractions. With her smile, the main figure encourages the viewer to enjoy the moral dilemma of this particular situation as she does. In addition, there are other indications of moral laxity: the pose of the elebriated index finger to the lips, representing the silecion, has a classical origin in depictions of Hippocrates which was also used during the Renaissance and later in figures such as cupids.
Project: 4. Family, daily life and social inequality in Europe.
Scope: Secondary education, Baccalaureate, University
Resource type: Image
Format: Oil on panel (74,9 x 60,4 cm)
Source: Royall Collection (Reino Unido)
Owner: Álvaro Romero González (Modernalia)
Identifier: RCIN 405535
Copyright: Royall Collection (Reino Unido)
Abstract: Everyday scene in which a maid listens to what is happening on the other side of the staircaseImage