Woman with a Lute (1662-1663)

Vermeer, Jan (1632-1675)

Woman with a Lute (De luitspeelster)
Oil on canvas, 51.4 x 45.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

A young woman glances out a window while tuning her lute. Open songbooks and a viola da gamba on the floor indicate that she is preparing for a duet. Wealthy young people in the Dutch Republic studied music as part of their education, and amateur concerts provided a welcome opportunity for flirtation. The map of Europe in the background reflects the decoration of Dutch homes at the time, a sign of pride in the nation’s preeminence in navigation and cartography. (MET)