Luci LaSombra Vermeer Gallery

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Woman with a Lute

New York, Metropolitan Museum

52x46 1663

A young woman tunes her lute by a window, looking out at something happening in the street. She is elegantly dressed in the ermine-trimmed yellow jacket that appears many Vermeers. Because she is seated low and the viewpoint is also low, the sense of barrier provided by the table and erupting lion-finialled chair is especially strong. On the floor, but no longer visible due to poor condition, there is more music and a violin, perhaps in expectation of a partner's arrival.

The map of Europe behind the woman was published by Jodicus Hondius in 1613, reprinted by Joan Blaeu in 1659.

Unfortunately, this painting is in poor condition, with much of the subtle interplay of color no longer visible.


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