Vermeer is the most known of the Dutch painters but there were many others competing against each other.
Gabriel Metsu is one of them and the National Gallery of Ireland is presenting an exhibition of his works since September 4 that will end in December 5.
"The subject of love-letters became popular in Dutch art in the 1650s thanks to Gerard ter Borch. Metsu painted many variations of Ter Borch’s works in which he made the subjects more engaging to the viewer. Whereas Ter Borch painted a woman concentrating on writing her missive, Metsu made her look outside the picture. She smiles seductively at us, presumably to invite us to think that she is writing a message to us."
"Metsu was a particularly gifted painter of dogs, which appear alongside many of his figures. While men are usually escorted by a Dutch partridge dog, women entertain themselves with a papillon, a small type of spaniel."
Go to this page and click to see more details of his works.