Two Maids Drinking and Smoking, Cornelis Pietersz. Bega
Cornelis Pietersz. Bega
Two Maids Drinking and Smoking
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Cornelis Pietersz. Bega

Two Maids Drinking and Smoking, 1663

36.0 x 28.9 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1817 as a bequest from Johann Georg Grambs
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 7


About the Work

Liquor and smoke dominate the scene. The woman on the right looks at her companion glassy-eyed. Their revealing necklines, and above all the bed in the background, leave no doubt: the two female protagonists are prostitutes. Depictions of the poor and licentious members of society had been popular in Haarlem since Frans Hals. Yet Cornelis Bega rendered the fabrics with delicate colours and folds. He thus combined the coarse peasant genre with the aesthetic of the “Leiden fine painters” around Gerard Dou, who was highly prized by art admirers of the period.

Work Data

Basic Information

Two Maids Drinking and Smoking
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten rechts: C Bega Ao 1663

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1817 as a bequest from Johann Georg Grambs

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif


  • 33C52 whore, prostitute
  • 41C12 drinking
  • 41C741 pipe ~ tobacco
  • 33A35 conversation, dialogue; conversation piece
  • 41A23 bedroom
  • 51DD1 Disorder, Confusion, Derangement, Disorganization, Chaos

Research and Discussion


Object History
Johann Georg Grambs (Städel-Administrator
1756-1817), Frankfurt am Main
Vermächtnis an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1817.


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