Jacob Adriaensz Backer was a leading artist in Amsterdam, famous for his extreme quickness in painting portraits. According to Joachim von Sandrart’s Teutsche Academie, he completely finished, in one day, the half length portrait of a lady in full dress, so that she was able to return the same day back to Haarlem with the painting. This portrait of an unknown lady as the muse Euterpe was done not long before his premature death, only forty-two, in 1651.

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