C. Hofstede de Groot

A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century

Based on the Work of John Smith. Volume I

Johannes Vermeer



Johannes Vermeer - Woman in Blue Reading a Letter


31
Johannes Vermeer
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter
c. 1663-64
Johannes Vermeer
A Girl Reading a Letter
19 1/2 inches by 16 inches
Canvas
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Van der Hoop bequest

A girl, whose figure is shown at full length, stands facing left in the centre of the picture, holding a letter in both hands. She wears a loose blue jacket and a white skirt. To the left is a table covered with a cloth, on which is an open casket. There is a chair behind the table and another on the right. A map, cut off by the frame, hangs on the white wall.


Johannes Vermeer - The Love Letter


32
Johannes Vermeer
The Love Letter
c. 1669/70
Johannes Vermeer
The Love-Letter
17 1/2 inches by 15 inches
Canvas
Signed on the wall above the work-basket "J. v. Meer" (the J and M intertwined)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

An open door, to the right of which is a chair with papers on it, gives a view into a room brightly lighted from an unseen window to the left. In the centre, facing the spectator, sits a young lady holding a lute in her left hand, and in the right a letter which she has just taken from a maid-servant standing behind her to the left She directs a questioning glance at the maid-servant, who answers with a smile. On the tiled floor to the left are a cushion and a work-basket. The hearth is partly visible behind her to the right. On the wall to the left is a piece of a gilt leather hanging, similar to that which is introduced in Dr. Bredius's allegorical picture at The Hague (2); above it hang two pictures — one of them a sea-piece, the other a landscape with a road through a wood. In the doorway in the foreground are two wooden shoes and a broom. A Gobelins tapestry fills the right upper corner of the picture.


Johannes Vermeer - Mistress and Maid


33
Johannes Vermeer
Mistress and Maid
c. 1666-67
Johannes Vermeer
A Lady and a Maid-Servant
35 inches by 30 inches
Canvas
Collection of James Simon, Berlin

In the right foreground a young woman is seated at a table, on which she rests her right arm. She is seen at half length, in profile to the left. She holds a pen in her right hand, and seems to have been interrupted in her writing. She leans her chin on her left hand. She wears a jacket of lemon-yellow, trimmed with ermine, and has a string of pearls in her hair. She looks at a maid-servant in grey who stands, facing the spectator, to the left behind the table and hands the lady a letter. The table has a blue cover; on it are a casket and writing materials. The background is dark.


Johannes Vermeer - The Letter Reader


34
Johannes Vermeer
The Letter Reader
c. 1657
Johannes Vermeer
A Girl Reading a Letter
33 inches by 25 1/2 inches
Canvas
Faint traces of a signature may be seen to the right behind the girl
Picture Gallery, Dresden

A young girl in a greenish-yellow bodice stands feeing left at an open window. She is reading a letter which she holds in both hands. In the foreground is a table with a coloured cloth; on it is a dish of fruit. Above the window to the left hangs a red curtain which is caught up on the casement. To the right is a light green curtain suspended from a rod running across the top of the picture; it creates the illusion of a curtain hung in front of the picture to shade it from the light. The girl's head and shoulders are partly reflected in the window casement which is thrown back against the wall. The paint shows thick spots of varying size. The light fells somewhat too strongly on the green curtain and thus weakens the effect of the picture as a whole. [Compare 31.]



Johannes Vermeer - Lady writing a letter with her maid


35
Johannes Vermeer
Lady writing a letter with her maid
c. 1670
Johannes Vermeer
The Love-Letter
27 1/2 inches by 23 inches
Canvas
Signed on a sheet of paper hanging down from the table in shadow "J. V. Meer" (the J and M intertwined)
Collection of the late Alfred Beit, London

In the left-hand corner of a room a young lady sits writing a letter at a table covered with a red cloth. She feces the spectator, and wears a cap and a low-cut bodice with short sleeves. Behind her to the left stands a maid-servant, also feeing the spectator ; this woman, who waits to take the letter, has folded her arms and is looking out of the window to the left, which has a thin curtain. On the wall behind the lady is a large picture cut off by the frame ; it apparently represents the finding of Moses ; there is a group of women bathing to the left in front of bushes with a distant view; in the centre is a woman with her breasts bare, who shows a child to another woman, while to the left is a nude woman seated with her back to the spectator. The same picture occurs in the Rothschild "Astronomer" in Paris (6), but is distinctly smaller in that work. In the window to the left is a coat of arms which is no longer legible. The leading of the glass is somewhat similar in pattern to that of the window in the "Young Woman with a Water-jug" in New York (19), in the pictures at Brunswick (38), Berlin (37), and Windsor Castle (28). In the left foreground part of a large curtain is visible.


Johannes Vermeer - A Woman Writing


36
Johannes Vermeer
A Woman Writing
c. 1665/67
Johannes Vermeer
A Lady Writing
18 1/2 inches by 14 inches
Canvas
Sale Comte F. de Robiano, Brussels, May 1, 1837, No. 436

A well-dressed lady in a morning toilet, having a yellow jacket trimmed with fur, sits writing at a table, on which are a casket and writing materials. She looks at the spectator.


Johannes Vermeer - The Glass of Wine


37
Johannes Vermeer
The Glass of Wine
c. 1660
Johannes Vermeer
A Girl Drinking, with a Gentleman
26 1/2 inches by 30 1/2 inches
Canvas
Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin

To the right of a table, placed in the left-hand corner of a spacious room, a girl sits in profile to the left, drinking a glass of wine which a man standing at her side has poured out for her. She wears a red dress; her face is almost entirely concealed by a white cap. The gentleman, who almost faces the spectator, looks intently at the girl. He is dressed in grey with a broad-brimmed black hat, and with his right hand grasps a jug standing on the table. A Turkey carpet covers the table, on which lies some music. On a chair in front are a cushion and a guitar. To the left is a cushioned bench, which is foreshortened. On the cool wall hangs a landscape. The scene is lighted from two windows in the left-hand wall. The front window, which is half-open, has in the centre a coat of arms, identical with that in the Brunswick picture (38); compare the window in 35. The floor is paved with tiles. Owing to the yellow varnish the picture seems unusually warm in tone.


Johannes Vermeer - Young Woman with a Wine Glass


38
Johannes Vermeer
Young Woman with a Wine Glass
c. 1659-60
Johannes Vermeer
The Girl with the Wine-Glass
31 inches by 27 inches
Canvas
Signed in the right-hand lower corner of the window "J. Meer" (the J and M intertwined)
Picture Gallery, Brunswick

In the right foreground a young girl is seated, facing left. She holds a wine-glass in her right hand; her left hand rests on her lap. A cavalier, who stands behind and bows to her, grasps her by the right hand as if inviting her to drink. She turns her head away from him with a smile and looks out of the picture. Another gentleman sits in the left backgroimd at a table; he looks to the right and leans his head on his hand. The girl wears a light red dress, the colour of which dominates the picture. The table-cover is blue; at one corner is a white napkin, with a jug and a dish of lemons near it. The floor is paved with blue and white tiles. On the wall hangs a three-quarter length portrait of a man. To the left is a half-opened window with the same coat of arms as in the window in 37. It is per pale; the dexter, or, a chevron gules, with nine small lozenges sable in two rows above, and six of the same in three rows below ; the sinister, on a chief vert three martlets; the crest is a woman holding a snake in her left hand. The blue tone of the underpainting shows through in several places, especially in the flesh and in the passages of white.


Johannes Vermeer - Cavalier and Young Woman


39
Johannes Vermeer
Cavalier and Young Woman
c. 1657
Johannes Vermeer
The Soldier and the Laughing Girl
Collection of Mrs. Joseph, London

A three-quarter length. In the left-hand corner of a room a soldier and a girl sit conversing at a table. The soldier is in shadow in the left foreground and is seen in lost profile ; he wears a large black slouch hat with a red ribbon, and a red coat with a bandolier, and rests his right hand on his hip. The girl sits more to the right and farther back, and wears a white cap, a black and yellow bodice, and a blue skirt. In her right hand she holds a wine-glass; her left hand rests on the table. To the left is a window, with one casement open. On the wall is a map of Holland and West Friesland.


Johannes Vermeer - The Procuress


41
Johannes Vermeer
The Procuress
1656
Johannes Vermeer
The Procuress
57 inches by 52 inches
Canvas
Signed in the right-hand bottom corner, "J. v. Meer" (the J and M intertwined) and dated 1656
Picture Gallery, Dresden

A three-quarter length. To the right of a balcony, the front of which is draped with a rich oriental carpet, sits a young woman facing the spectator. She wears a lemon-yellow jacket and a white cap. She holds a tall wine-glass in her left hand; she stretches out her right to take a coin which her lover, who stands behind her, is offering. The man, who has long curls, wears a red coat and a large grey hat adorned with a ribbon and a plume, which he has cocked over his right eye; he lays his left hand on the girl's breast. To the left sits a young man, in black slashed with white, a white collar and a black hat; he holds a beer-glass in his left hand and a lute in his right. Between the two men is seen the face of the procuress in the background — an old woman in a black cloak who watches the girl's expression.


Johannes Vermeer - Study of a young woman


42
Johannes Vermeer
Study of a young woman
c. 1665-67
Johannes Vermeer
Portrait of a Young Girl
Signed in the left-hand upper corner, "J. MEER" (the J and M intertwined)
Arenberg Gallery, Brussels

A half-length of a young girl. The figure is inclined to the left, but the face, which is faintly illumined, is turned full towards the spectator. The girl wears a white drapery round her shoulders, a yellow veil at the back of her head, and pearls in her ears. The background is dark. The whole effect is very similar to that of the portrait at The Hague (44).


Willem Drost - Young Woman with White Gloves


43
Willem Drost
Young Woman with White Gloves

Johannes Vermeer
Portrait of a Woman
32 1/2 inches by 26 inches
Canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

A three-quarter length of a woman. She stands with folded hands almost facing the spectator, with a slight inclination to the right. She wears a dark blue, almost black, dress, with white cuffs and a smooth, broad white collar with a golden yellow rosette, and gloves with ribbons of the same golden yellow colour. There is a narrow gilt stripe in her cap. The figure is strongly lighted from the left. To the right is a table with a reddish colour. To the left is the yellowish back of a chair, which has almost faded away through age. The background is dark. The half-shadows are greyish. The technique does not show the painter's usual manner of stippling. From the costume this was painted about 1655-60.


Johannes Vermeer - Girl with a Pearl Earring


44
Johannes Vermeer
Girl with a Pearl Earring
c. 1665-67
Johannes Vermeer
Portrait of a Young Girl
18 1/2 inches by 16 inches
Canvas
Signed in the left-hand upper corner, "J. V. Meer " (the J, V and M intertwined)
Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague

A half-length of a young girl without the hands. The figure is in profile to the left; the face is turned to the spectator. The eyes are large; the lips are slightly parted. The girl wears on her head a blue and white turban, the ends of which fall down her shoulders ; she has a yellowish-green dress, and large pear-shaped pearls in her ears. The picture has been partly restored, since it was, when discovered, in very bad condition. It is quite in the style of the Arenberg picture (42), and was probably painted after it.


Johannes Vermeer - Girl with a Red Hat


46a
Johannes Vermeer
Girl with a Red Hat
c. 1665-67
Johannes Vermeer
Portrait of a Young Man
9 inches by 7 inches
Panel
Sale Lafontaine, Paris, 1822

Nearly a half-length. The man wears a broad-brimmed hat of red plush and a blue cloak. Strong sunlight fells on his left cheek. The hat-brim casts a deep shadow on the upper part of the face.



Johannes Vermeer - View of Houses in Delft


47
Johannes Vermeer
View of Houses in Delft
c. 1658
Johannes Vermeer
A Street in Delft
21 inches by 17 inches
Canvas
Collection of J. Six, Amsterdam

The front of a house built of warm red brick, with a gabled roof that is cut off by the frame, fills the right half of the picture. The feçade is in three storeys; in the first, the lower half of which is whitewashed, are two high windows, one on either side of the entry, in which a woman is seated at her needlework; in the second are two low windows, and in the attic is a small and narrow window. The lower half of each window is fitted with shutters, most of which are closed. To the right and left of the entry are benches on a tiled pavement; two children are playing near the left-hand bench. To the left of the house is the entrance into the courtyard; through the open door is seen a woman standing at a wash-tub at the back. Farther to the left is part of a small house; this has its courtyard door, which is closed, on the right; then comes the house wall, covered with bluish-green foliage. Above the walls and doors of the courtyards are seen the gables and roofs of other houses. Above is the sky with greyish-white clouds.


Johannes Vermeer - View of Delft


48
Johannes Vermeer
View of Delft
c. 1661-63
Johannes Vermeer
A View of Delft from the Rotterdam Canal
39 inches by 46 1/2 inches
Canvas
Signed on the boat to the left with the monogram "J. v. M." (the letters intertwined)
Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague

Beyond the broad canal, which runs right across the foreground, lie the walls of Delft with the Schiedam and Rotterdam gates, the latter of which is flanked by two towers. The gates are connected by an arched bridge, under which the canal enters the town. At the back rises the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk. On the extreme left the steeple of the Oude Kerk may be seen above a broad roof. On the canal are several boats. In the left foreground is a piece of the nearer bank, where six persons are standing near a "trekschuit" or canal-boat. The sky, with light clouds, takes up nearly two-thirds of the picture. Near the centre of the foreground may be discerned the traces of a man's figure which was painted out by the artist himself.