detail of face detail of chair detail of wall

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St Praxedis Christ in the House of Martha and Mary Diana and Her Companions Procuress Woman Asleep Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window Little Street
Officer and Laughing Girl Milkmaid Glass of Wine Girl with Wineglass Girl Interrupted at Her Music View of Delft Music Lesson
Woman in Blue Woman Holding a Balance Young Woman with a Water Pitcher Woman with a Lute Woman with a Pearl Necklace A Lady Writing Girl with a Pearl Earring
Concert Girl with the Red Hat Art of Painting Mistress and Maid Portrait of Young Woman The Geographer The Astronomer
Lacemaker Guitar Player Love Letter Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid Allegory of Faith A Lady Standing at the Virginal Lady Seated at the Virginal

Vermeer conceived many of his paintings around letters, capturing the sense of expectancy elicited by these intimate communications. Here, Vermeer conveyed the depth of the young woman's feelings through her tender expression. She, with lowered eyes and half-opened mouth, firmly holds the unfolded letter in both her hands while tightly clasping her arms to her side. Immersed in her private world, she is unaware of the presence of the viewer, who, as though coming unexpectedly upon an intimate scene, instinctively holds back, reluctant to intrude.

Excerpt taken from Vermeer: The Complete Works
by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr

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