The Gallant Conversation is an oil-on-canvas painting from circa 1654 by Gerard ter Borch (the Younger). A late 18th century French print of the work is titled The Paternal Admonition, apparently believing it showed a father reprimanding his daughter, but modern art historians see it as a conversation between two prospective lovers, either a discussion of a betrothal or, more likely, a customer propositioning a prostitute in a brothel.
The painting shows a man talking to a young woman. The woman is dressed in an exquisite silver satin gown which immediately draws the viewer’s attention to her as the focus of the scene, while the man is in military dress and holds a finely decorated hat on his lap. Next to the man sits an older woman drinking wine, seemingly uninterested in the conversation between the man and the girl. To the side of the girl is a table with a burning candle, mirror, powder puff, combs and a trailing ribbon. Behind the man’s chair, a scruffy dog can be seen, and to the rear of the picture is a large bed.