A young woman is standing by a table and looking into a mirror to arrange her pearl necklace. Light floods into the room through the leaded window. The yellow of the curtain and the furtrimmed jacket, and also the bare, white wall—a masterpiece of pure painting in the fine nuances of its colouring— create an intense sense of colour that is additionally enhanced by the dark, blueblack foreground. Vermeer is one of the most famous Dutch artists, despite the fact that his oeuvre consists of only about thirty-five paintings. He used perspective as an important compositional and expressive device. Here the vanishing-point is just above the table-top, and thus below the subject's eye-level. This creates a kind of worm's-eye view that helps to monumentalize the figure and the objects. Vermeer achieves the effect of depth by allowing the edge of the picture to cut through the chair, thus also increasing the sense of intimacy. Close-up views like this of people going about their daily lives are a favourite subject for Vermeer. The bare wall becomes a field of tension that mediates between the woman and the mirror and makes her look more intense. This motif in Dutch painting can be traced back as far as Hieronymus Bosch. Mirrors were considered a traditional symbol of pride, and invoked the pettiness and transience of worldly things. The pearls are a costly possession that can also be associated with vanity.