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In an interior setting a young lady is sitting on a chair, holding up a glass of wine as if she wants to drink a toast to us. A gentleman seems to stimulate her to consume the alcoholic drink. A second companion is sleeping in the corner at the backside of the room. Should he originally serve as a chaperon for the visit? The content of the scene seems ambiguous. Vermeer leaves it open, whether the girl will be seduced or whether she is controlling the situation.
The painting shows many similarities to The Glass of Wine in Berlin. The canvasses have identical dimensions, set in the vertical format in Braunschweig. It seems that in the Braunschweig version Vermeer changed and improved his earlier composition of the Berlin painting. The young girl is now definitely set in the main focus, pointedly addressing the viewer. The luminous atmosphere of soft daylight is strengthened, Vermeer here works with a very smooth painting surface. The bright coloring concentrates on the prime colors of red, blue and yellow, culminating in the girl’s fashionable dress in vermillion red. Vermeer brilliantly shows the play of light and (colorful) shadows, extensively using the expensive ultramarine blue pigment, even for the underpainting of many parts of his painting.

Details

  • Title: Girl with a Wineglass
  • Creator: Johannes Vermeer van Delft
  • Date Created: 1658/1659
  • Physical Dimensions: w67 x h78 cm
  • Provenance: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum
  • Type: Painting

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