detail of left side detail of right side detail of rug detail of coin

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Few of Vermeer's paintings are as provocative as this fascinating scene of mercenary love, which, in its subject, as well as in its momentary gestures and expressions, seems to differ from his earlier biblical and mythological scenes. Here, behind a balustrade covered by a richly decorated rug, a procuress looks approvingly at a soldier, who offers a young woman a coin while fondling her breast. Holding a glass of wine in one hand, she willingly accepts his proposition with her other.

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

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