Vermeer on the Question of Love

Elegant young men and women converse, drink, or play music together in domestic settings. Alone in their rooms, other play musical instruments. Still others receive, read, or write letters, either alone or in the company of their maidservants. The thoughts of all, it seems, turn to love.

The Ambiguities of Love

Vermeer’ s allusiveness is frequently bound up in pictures-within-the picture that suggest meaning rather than determine it, or rather, deliver a range of possible meanings.

Youth, Fashion, and Dutch Simplicity

Like the artists of the garden parties, Vermeer pictures courtship as a self-enclosed world of youth, from which parents and older guardians are excluded. It is an imagery that accords well with the desire of contemporary young people in The Netherlands for their own social and emotional space apart from adult supervision.

The young culture we encounter in Dutch love songs, and romances is a decidedly elite one, composed of the nobility and high-burgher class.

You can find this piece of writing in the 6th chapter of The Cambridge Companion To Vermeer written by H. Rodney Nevitt Jr.