Woman with a Lute

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Woman With a Lute
Vermeer - Woman with a Lute near a window.jpg
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Yearc. 1664
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions51.4 cm× 45.7 cm(20.2 in× 18.0 in)
Location Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Woman with a Lute, also known as Woman with a Lute Near a Window, is a painting created about 1662–1663 by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Johannes Vermeer 17th-century Dutch painter

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. He was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime but evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Art museum in New York City, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States. With 6,953,927 visitors to its three locations in 2018, it was the third most visited art museum in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments. The main building, on the eastern edge of Central Park along Museum Mile in Manhattan's Upper East Side is by area one of the world's largest art galleries. A much smaller second location, The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, contains an extensive collection of art, architecture, and artifacts from Medieval Europe. On March 18, 2016, the museum opened the Met Breuer museum at Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side; it extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program.

Contents

The painting depicts a young woman wearing an ermine-trimmed jacket and enormous pearl earrings as she eagerly looks out a window, presumably expecting a male visitor. "A musical courtship is suggested by the viola da gamba on the floor in the foreground and by the flow of songbooks across the tabletop and onto the floor," according to a web page about the work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. The tuning of a lute was recognized by contemporary viewers as a symbol of the virtue of temperance. The oil on canvas work is 20¼ inches high and 18 inches wide (51.4 × 45.7 cm). [1] The painting's canvas was almost certainly cut from the same bolt as that used for Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid . [2]

<i>Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid</i> 1670-1671 painting by Johannes Vermeer

Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid is a painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, completed in 1670–1671 and held in the National Gallery of Ireland. The work shows a middle-class woman attended by a housemaid who is presumably acting as messenger and go-between for the lady and her lover. The work is seen as a bridge between the quiet restraint and self-containment of Vermeer's work of the 1660s and his relatively cooler work of the 1670s. It may have been partly inspired by Ter Borch's painting Woman Sealing a Letter. The painting's canvas was almost certainly cut from the same bolt used for Woman with a Lute.

The work likely was painted shortly after Young Woman with a Water Pitcher , and it shares with that painting its framing of the figure within rectangular motifs. But the painting has more muted tones, reflecting a shift in that direction by Vermeer in the mid- to late 1660s. At this time, Vermeer began using shadows and soft contours to further evoke an atmosphere of intimacy. "The impression of spatial recession and atmosphere is somewhat diminished by darkening with age of the objects in the foreground and by abrasion of the paint surface, mostly in the same area," according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art web page. [1]

The painting was given to the museum in 1900 by a bequest of railroad industrialist Collis P. Huntington. [1]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid/Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675)/Woman with a Lute, about 1662–63". Metropolitan Museum of Art web site. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  2. Walter Liedtke; C. Richard Johnson Jr.; Don H. Johnson. "Canvas matches in Vermeer: a case study in the computer analysis of canvas supports" (PDF). Retrieved 5 May 2013.

Further reading

Walter Arthur Liedtke, Jr. was an American art historian, writer and Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was known as one of the world's leading scholars of Dutch and Flemish paintings. He died in the 2015 Metro-North Valhalla train crash.

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