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The woman is tip-toeing down the stairs, her forefinger raised to her lips to indicate silence, while she listens to a lovers’ tryst in the room beyond. Identified as the mistress of the house by the weighty keys hanging from her waist, the woman descends the stairs from a small book-lined office, where she has presumably been seeing to the house hold accounts. In contrast, the young maidservant at right is distracted from her childminding duties by her lover’s ardent caress.
oil on canvas
H 57.5 x W 66 cm
management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004