A Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window

“Vermeer’s genius was in probing those moments in life when one feels alone and immersed in one’s thoughts. His are essentially private works, invitations to pause and partake of the quiet intimacy of the scene. Almost as in poetry, he suggests moods and attitudes in his figures that are recognizable yet not precisely defined. In this painting a girl stands in a corner of a room before an open window, her thoughts are totally absorbed in the letter she is reading. The walls, curtains, and table define the physical limits of her space; the reflection of her image in the glass emphasizes the inner nature of her thoughts. Her world is still.”

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., Jan Vermeer, 1981

  • Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., (1981) In Essential Vermeer. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from Essential Vermeer