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Young Woman with a Lute

Johannes Vermeerca. 1662–63

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A young woman glances out of a window while tuning her lute. Open songbooks and a viola da gamba on the floor indicate that she is preparing for a duet. Wealthy young people in the Dutch Republic studied music as part of their education, and amateur concerts provided a welcome opportunity for flirtation. The map of Europe in the background reflects the contemporary decoration of Dutch homes, a sign of pride in the nation’s preeminence in navigation and cartography.

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