17th Century
The Choir Boys

Oil on canvas
Image size: 22 x 33 1/2 inches (56 x 85 cm)
Hand made gilt frame



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This is a half portrait of two choir boys wearing white ruffs at their necks, looking down as they sing. The details in the folds of the boy’s costumes are exquisite and beautiful red slashes can be seen in one of the boy’s doublets.

Although we may assume that the pair are singing in an ecclesiastical setting, the dark background is left deliberately plain to draw our attention to the two main subjects. The dark background provides a stark contrast to the figures. One must assume that this somewhat dark work was originally intended to be observed by candlelight and to this day, it is when the painting is low-lit that it truly comes to life.

The boy on the right is seen in three quarter view facing left, he holds in his left hand his sheet music, while he gestures with in time with his right hand. Behind him, to his left is another boy who looks at the music and sings with his companion. Given that we can not see the white’s of either boy’s eyes this remains an extraordinary charismatic scene.