- In the mid- to late-seventeenth century, a number of successful Dutch painters created a novel kind of genre painting using restricted sets of stock motifs. Focusing on Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, and Frans van Mieris, this book explores how these artists employed various forms of pictorial repetition-from creating virtuosic, self-referential compositions around signature motifs to engaging esteemed predecessors in a competitive dialogue through emulation - to project a distinctive artistic personality. The resulting paintings, recognizable yet unique, became the occasions for wealthy viewers in the young Dutch Republic to demonstrate their knowledge of art and claim membership in the exclusive circle of sophisticated enthusiasts. Drawing on contemporary art treatises, inventories of collections, and manuals of collecting and connoisseurship, the book considers the visual and social environments in which the paintings were received. It contends that creative repetition was a strategy that served the interdependent interests of artists and viewers.