The Procuress (1622). Dirck van Baburen (Dutch, 1590 to 1595–1624). Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Baburen, influenced by Caravaggio and his followers, specialized in close-up views of large, half-length figures, solidly modeled with emphatic contrasts of light and shadow. Here, an amorous suitor barters for the favors of a cheerful young woman. The lute, symbol of love, occupies the center of the composition; the gestures of the hands that surround it tell the painting’s story.