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A Young Woman standing at a Virginal

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You are viewing image NG1383

Johannes VERMEER , 1632 - 1675

A Young Woman standing at a Virginal

Date: about 1670-2
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 51.7 x 45.2 cm
Acquisition credit: Bought, 1892

The richly dressed lady playing a virginal stands in a wealthy Delft home with paintings on the wall, a marble-tiled floor, and a skirting of locally produced Delft blue and white tiles. The two paintings on the wall behind her cannot be identified with certainty, but the small landscape on the left is probably either by Jan Wijnants or Allart van Everdingen.

The second painting, attributed to Caesar van Everdingen, Allart's brother, shows the motif of Cupid holding a card. This figure derives from a contemporary emblem. It may either refer to the idea of faithfulness to one lover or, in conjunction with the virginal, to the traditional association of music and love.

As with most of Vermeer's work, the painting is undocumented. It is dated on stylistic grounds and on the evidence of the costume. This work can be related to another Vermeer in the Collection, 'A Young Woman seated at a Virginal', from the same period.


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