Women making lace. Watercolour after Q. van Brekelenkam. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.
"The Interior with a woman and girls making lace from 1654, a related painting by Brekelenkam that has recently come to light (fig. 1, London art market, 1983), depicts a simple domestic interior that has been converted into a workshop for the instruction of lacemaking. The naaikussen (literally, sewing cushions) stored on the shelf behind the group suggest that this is more than a simple family activity. Apparently the standing girl has just left her seat to learn an aspect of the lacemaking process. The cloak draped over the empty chair seem to indicate that she is an outsider who has come for instruction. ... the young are instructed by their elders, and the tradition of a craft is passed down from one generation to another ... Combined with the more rural, so-called cottage industries of spinning and weaving, these family-operated activities formed the backbone of the multifarious lakenindustrie (cloth industry) of Leiden" (O. N[aumann] in Masters of seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting, loc. cit.)