detail of maid detail of foot detail of dog

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In this large painting, Diana, clothed in a loosely fitting white blouse and yellow robe, sits on a rock in a dark landscape while an attendant tenderly washes her foot with a sponge. Three other companions accompany the goddess, each self-contained, with head bowed and eyes averted. The mood is somber, detached, and reverent. Diana, her face in shadow, stares off into space, as though lost in her thoughts and oblivious to the presence of the others. Even the dog in the lower left sits quietly, no flicker of movement enlivening his form.

Excerpt taken from Vermeer and The Art of Painting
by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr
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