An elegantly dressed young man is watching a woman finish a glass of wine. He has his hand on a jug, and seems to be waiting to refill the glass. Vermeer has taken the traditional motif of `wine, women and song', and, obviously influenced by a picture of ter Borch's, transformed it into a distinguished tête-à-tête. In ter Borch's painting the cavalier had his arm around the woman's shoulder, but Vermeer does not give any explicit indication of the nature of this couple's relationship. lt is uncertain whether consuming alcohol will lead to excess. Vermeer simply provides hints. The chitarrone on the chair, an instrument that frequently occurs in his pictures, symbolizes both harmony and frivolity. The window pane with the coat of arms also shows a woman holding a bridle, an attribute of Temperantia (moderation). Vermeer handles the light coming in through the leaded window and its interplay with people and objects in a masterly fashion. In his later paintings in particular Vermeer used the "camera obscura", which opened up completely new opportunities for expression and design for artists, in order to capture the effect of light and colours more effectively.