Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt
Dutch, 1640 ‑ 1691
The Interior of a Kitchen, about 1659
Oil on panel
17 5/16 × 14 9/16 in. (44 × 37 cm.)
Gift of the Charter Collectors and Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Bingham Sr., Mrs. Hattie Bishop Speed, Mrs. E. Gary Sutcliffe, Mrs. Margaret Bridwell, Mrs. Oscar Fenley, and Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, by exchange  1992.23

The Virtues of Hard Work
This painting of three maids in a kitchen illustrates each step in doing the household laundry, from drawing the water, to boiling it, to washing the laundry in a wooden tub. Scenes of daily household life were popular subjects in Dutch paintings during the 1600s. Hard work was a commendable virtue, and order and cleanliness carried special moral significance. Depictions of work, whether performed by men or women, appealed to the industrious spirit of the Dutch people.