One of the most important reasons why I have chosen this picture, Woman Weighing Pearls, is that it has an “extra” meaning. It is an allegorical picture. Firstly, as we can see in the background of the represented scene, there is a picture hanging on the wall. This important picture is the Final Judgement, which is in a black frame. This idea is connected with the fact that the woman of the picture is dressing like the Virgin Mary and she is pregnant, so both religious and spiritual ideas are present in the picture.
The woman is placed between the picture of the religious scene and the table which is full of pearls and jewelry. She is between the spiritual and the material possessions. Besides, according to different sources, one of the scales of the balance is empty which suggests that the woman “is balancing spiritual rather than material considerations” (Wikipedia).
- Wikipedia. Woman Holding a Balance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Woman_Holding_a_Balance
- Wikipedia. Johannes Vermeer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Vermeer