GIRL INTERRUPTED AT HER MUSIC

c. 1658-1661

Oil on canvas. 15 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (39.3 x 44.4 cm.)

The Frick Collection, New York

Girl interrupted at her music

Girl interrupted at her music

“The girl has been distracted and turns to look with a slightly quizzical expression.One wonders what has caused the interruption and why is has not yet disturbed her companion. She and the man are holding a sheet of paper, presumably a letter or a sheet of music. Once again, Vermeer presents an enigmatic scene leaving it ambiguous whether the man is the girl’s teacher or lover. The viewer is offered a privileged moment to look into the girl’s eyes, just before her companion turns to see who has entered the room. Music was often associated with love, and lying on the table are a cittern and an open music score, together with a blue and white Delftware pitcher and a single glass of red wine. On the rear wall is a full-length painting of Cupid, which is probably intended as a reminder that perfect love should be reserved for a single lover. The paint surface of ‘Girl Interrupted at her Music’ is in worn condition and the birdcage hanging on the wall near the window may be a later addition by another artist.” Vermeer, Martin Bailey, 1995

INFORMATION TAKEN FROM THE ESSENTIAL VERMEER PAGE