Woman with a Lute
1663, 52x46 cm
New York, Metropolitan Museum
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