Archive for February, 2010

A Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window

February 21, 2010

A Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window is a painting that was finished in 1657 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). We can see this picture in the Gemäldegalerie of Dresden.

This picture was not thought that it was drawn by Vermeer from the beginning. A Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window was acquired in 1724 by August III (who was an elector of Saxony). Then this picture was attributed to Rembrandt (a Dutch painter and etcher). In 1783 it was attributed to Gobaert Flinck (a Dutch painter and drawer). In 1806 the name Van der Meer from Delft appears for the first time but in 1817 it was changed back to Flinck. From 1826 to 1860 A Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window was attributed to Pieter de Hooch who was a genre painter during the Dutch Golden Age. Finally in 1862, the authorship of the picture is right: Johannes Vermeer.

What it is written above help us to imagine how difficult was to establish Vermeer’s catalog. The task of attribution relies in individual critic. The way of attribution explains why there are a lot of different opinions about who the author is. 

Johannes Vermeer gave importance to the light. The light is located in the specific point in the picture were we should focus our attention. In the picture I am analysing the points of light are the following:

  • The girl’s face
  • The window
  • The letter
  • The bowl of fruits
  • The curtain

These points of light influence the spectator when seeing the painting: the frame of the window directs our attention into the chair. The chair directs our attention into the letter and so on.

 

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