Overview

Girl with the Red Hat is one of Johannes Vermeer’s smallest works, and it is painted on panel rather than on his customary canvas. The girl has turned in her chair and interacts with the viewer through her direct gaze. Girl with the Red Hat is portrayed with unusual spontaneity and informality. The artist’s exquisite use of color is this painting’s most striking characteristic, for both its compositional and its psychological effects. Vermeer concentrated the two major colors in two distinct areas: a vibrant red for the hat and a sumptuous blue for the robe; he then used the intensity of the white cravat to unify the whole.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Vermeer also was an art dealer in Delft. There is no documentation of his artistic training or apprenticeship, but in 1653 he became a master in the Saint Luke’s Guild in Delft; he would serve as head of that guild four times in the 1660s and 1670s. Although he was well regarded in his lifetime, he was heavily in debt when he died in 1675. Only in the late nineteenth century did Vermeer achieve widespread fame for his intimate genre scenes and quiet cityscapes.

Inscription

upper center of tapestry in ligature: IVM

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Possibly Pieter Claesz van Ruijven [1624-1674], Delft; possibly by inheritance to his wife, Maria de Knuijt [d. 1681]; possibly by inheritance to her daughter, Magdalena van Ruijven [1655-1682], Delft;[1] possibly by inheritance to her husband, Jacob Abrahamsz. Dissius [1653-1695], Delft; (sale, Amsterdam, 16 May 1696, probably no. 39 or 40).[2] Lafontaine collection, Paris; (his sale, Hôtel de Bouillon, Paris, 10-12 December 1822 [postponed from 27-29 November], no. 28). Baron Louis Marie Baptiste Atthalin [1784-1856], Colmar; by inheritance to his nephew and adopted son, Louis Marie Félix Laurent-Atthalin [1818-1893], Colmar and Paris; by inheritance to his son, Baron Gaston Marie Laurent-Atthelin [1848-1912], Paris and Château des Moussets, Limay, Seine-et-Oise; by inheritance to his wife, Baroness Marguerite Chaperon Laurent-Atthalin [1854-1931], Paris;[3] (M. Knoedler & Co., New York and London); sold November 1925 to Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 30 March 1932 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1925
Loan Exhibition of Dutch Masters of the Seventeenth Century, M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1925, no. 1.
1927
[Loan exhibition for the opening of the new building], Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 1927.
1928
A Loan Exhibition of Twelve Masterpieces of Painting, M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1928, no. 12.
1995
Johannes Vermeer, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague, 1995-1996, no. 14, repro.
1998
A Collector's Cabinet, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1998, no. 60.
1999
Johannes Vermeer: The Art of Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1999-2000, brochure, fig. 11.
2001
Vermeer and the Delft School, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The National Gallery, London, 2001, no. 74, repro.
2012
Vermeer: Il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 2012-2013, no. 49, color repro.

Bibliography

1866
Thoré, Théophile E. J. (William Bürger). "Van der Meer de Delft." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 21 (October–December 1866): 567, no. 47 (a group of paintings), as Portrait of a Young Man.
1907
Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 8 vols. Translated by Edward G. Hawke. London, 1907-1927: 1(1907):602, 46a.
1913
Hale, Philip L. Jan Vermeer of Delft. Boston, 1913: 359.
1925
Barker, Virgil. "A Trans-Atlantic Chronicle—No. 1." Arts 8 (October 1925 ): 222-227, repro.
1925
Borenius, Tancred. "Aus der Sammlerwelt und vom Kunsthandel." Der Cicerone 17, no. 2 (1925): 878.
1925
Borenius, Tancred. "The New Vermeer." Apollo 2 (July-December 1925): 125–126, repro.
1925
Constable, W. G. "Review of Hausenstein 'Vermeer of Delft' (Das Bild Atlanten zur Kunst, 10. Munich, 1924)." The Burlington Magazine 47 (November 1925): 269.
1925
Flint, Ralph. "Rare Dutch Art in a Loan Exhibition." Art News 24 (21 November 1925): 3.
1925
Grundy, Cecil Reginald. "The Rediscovered Vermeer." Connoisseur 73 (1925): 116, 119.
1925
G.-S, L. "Two Vermeers are Newly Discovered." Art News 23 (12 September 1925): 1.
1925
Lavallée, Pierre. "Un Tableau Inconnu de Vermeer: La Jeune Femme au Chapeau Rouge." La Revue de l’Art 47 (1925): 323–324, repro.
1925
M. Knoedler & Co. Loan Exhibition of Dutch Masters of the Seventeenth Century. Exh. cat. M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1925: no. 1.
1926
Kauffmann, Hans. "Overzicht der Litteratuur betreffende Nederlandsche Kunst." Oud Holland 43 (1926): 235–248.
1926
Waldmann, Emil. "Ein neues Bild von Jan Vermeer van Delft." Kunst und Künstler 24 (1926): 186–187, repro. 174.
1927
Siple, Ella S. "Recent Acquisitions by American Collectors." The Burlington Magazine 51, no. 297 (1927): 303.
1928
"Amerika: New-York." Pantheon 1 (1928): 270, 272, repro.
1928
Brière-Misme, Clotilde. "Overzicht der Literatuur betreffende Nederlandsche Kunst." Oud Holland 45 (1928): 90–96.
1928
F. "Altmeister ausstellung bei M. Knoedler & Co. in New York." Der Cicerone 20 (1928): 373-374, 376, repro.
1928
"Illustrierte Berichte aus Amerika." Pantheon 1 (May 1928): 269-270, 272, repro.
1928
"Illustrierte Berichte aus Amerika." Pantheon 2 (October 1928): 521-522.
1928
M. Knoedler & Co. A Loan Exhibition of Twelve Masterpieces of Painting. Exh. cat. M. Knoedler & Co, New York, 1928: no. 12, repro.
1928
R. "Neuerwerbungen amerikanischer Sammler." Der Cicerone 20 (1928): 44.
1929
Lucas, Edward Verrall. Vermeer the Magical. London, 1929: vii-viii, repro.
1929
Wilenski, Reginald Howard. An Introduction to Dutch Art. New York, 1929: 284-286.
1931
Henkel, M. D. "Overzicht der literatuur betreffende Nederlandsche kunst." Oud Holland 48 (November 1931): 278-288.
1932
Valentiner, Wilhelm R. "Zum 300. Geburtstag Jan Vermeers, Oktober 1932: Vermeer und die Meister der Holländischen Genremalerei." Pantheon 5 (October 1932): 305-324.
1933
Alexandre, Arsène. "Nouveaux aperçus sur Vermeer." L’Art et les Artistes 27 (February 1933): 145-173, repro.
1935
Watson, Forbes. "A World Without Elegance." Parnassus 7 (1935): 3–8, 48, repro.
1937
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: 40.
1937
Crowninshield, Frank. "The Singular Case of Andrew W. Mellon." Vogue (April 1937): 74-78, 142-143, color repro.
1937
Hale, Philip Leslie. Vermeer. Edited by Frederick W. Coburn and Ralph T. Hale. Boston and New York, 1937: vii, no. 22, 132-133, pl. 22.
1937
Jewell, Edward Alden. "Mellon's Gift." Magazine of Art 30, no. 2 (February 1937): 82.
1939
Plietzsch, Eduard. Vermeer van Delft. Munich, 1939: 29, 51, 62, no. 38, pl. 26.
1939
Vries, Ary Bob de. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Bibliotheek der Nederlandsche Kunst. Amsterdam, 1939: 48, 89, no. 29, pl. 53.
1940
Bloch, Vitale. "Vermeer." Maandblad voor Beeldende Kunsten 17 (1940): 3-8.
1940
Goldscheider, Ludwig. The Paintings of Jan Vermeer. Oxford and New York, 1940: 14, pl. 39.
1941
Held, Julius S. "Masters of Nothern Europe, 1430-1660, in the National Gallery." ArtNews 40, no. 8 (June, 1941): 15, repro.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art., Washington, 1941: 208, no. 53.
1942
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 240, repro. 33.
1942
Mir, M. Jan Vermeer de Delft. Biblioteca argentina de arte. Buenos Aires, 1942: 62, no. 41, repro.
1944
Encina, Juan de la (Ricardo Gutiérrez Abascal). Las pinturas de la Galería nacional de arte de Washington. Mexico City, 1944: 58, color repro.
1945
Vries, Ary Bob de. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Basel, 1945: 58, 117, no. 29, pl. 54.
1945
Wilenski, Reginald Howard. Dutch Painting. Revised ed. London, 1945: 178, 187.
1946
Blum, André. Vermeer et Thoré-Burger. Geneva, 1946: 195, repro.
1948
Bertram, Anthony. Jan Vermeer of Delft. London, 1948: repro. xxxvii.
1948
Vries, Ary Bob de. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Translated by Robert Allen. Revised ed. London and New York, 1948: 40, 90, pl. 22.
1949
National Gallery of Art. Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 94, repro.
1949
Review of Professor van Thiereu [sic] Jan Vermeer of Delft (London, 1949). In Apollo, (January 1950): 30.
1949
Thienen, Frithjof van. Jan Vermeer of Delft. Masters of Painting. New York, 1949: 23, no. 25, repro.
1950
Swillens, P. T. A. Johannes Vermeer: Painter of Delft, 1632–1675. Translated by C.M. Breuning-Williamson. Utrecht, 1950: 65, no. G.
1950
T., R.S. "Art and Collector Books: Review of Frithjof van Thienen, Jan Vermeer of Delft." Apollo (January 1950): 30.
1952
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Great Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. Translated. New York, 1952: 102, color repro.
1952
Fierens, Paul. Jan Vermeer de Delft, 1632-1675. Paris, 1952: no. 48, repro.
1952
Gowing, Lawrence. Vermeer. London, 1952: 21, 55-56, 145-147, no. xxvii, pl. 57.
1952
Malraux, André, ed. Vermeer de Delft. Paris, 1952: 21-22, repro. (detail), 94, 96, no. xxvii, 104, color repro.
1954
Bloch, Vitale. Tutta la Pittura di Vermeer di Delft. Milan, 1954: 27-28, 35, pl. 56.
1956
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1956: 10, repro.
1958
Henno, Louis, and Jean Decoen. Vermeer de Delft: une affaire scandaleuse de vrais et de faux tableaux. Lecahier des arts. Bruxelles, 1958: 32.
1960
Baird, Thomas P. Dutch Painting in the National Gallery of Art. Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art 7. Washington, 1960: 38, 39, color repro.
1961
Greindl, Edith. Jan Vermeer, 1632-1675. Milan, 1961: 38, color repro.
1961
Reitlinger, Gerald. The Rise and Fall of Picture Prices 1760-1960. (Vol. 1 of The Economics of Taste). London, 1961: 484.
1962
Brion, Marcel. Vermeer. London, 1962: 55, color repro., 61.
1962
Gowing, Lawrence. Jan Vermeer. New York, 1962: 65, 76, color repro.
1963
Bloch, Vitale. All the Paintings of Jan Vermeer. Translated by Michael Kitson. The Complete Library of World Art 15. New York, 1963: 27-28, 35, pl. 56.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 315, repro., 346.
1964
Seymour, Charles, Jr. "Dark Chamber and Light-Filled Room: Vermeer and the Camera Obscura." Art Bulletin 46, no. 3 (1964): 323-331.
1965
National Gallery of Art. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. Washington, 1965: 135.
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 2: 260, color repro., as The Girl with a Red Hat.
1966
Descargues, Pierre. Vermeer. Translated by James Emmons. Geneva, 1966: 132-133, color repro. 103.
1966
Emiliani, Andrea. Vermeer (1632-1675). Milan, 1966: 9, 30, 31 pl. 11.
1966
Rosenberg, Jakob, Seymour Slive, and Engelbert H. ter Kuile. Dutch Art and Architecture: 1600–1800. Pelican History of Art. Baltimore, 1966: 122.
1967
Bianconi, Piero. The Complete Paintings of Vermeer. New York, 1967: 84, repro., 94-95, no. 32, color pl. xl.
1967
Koningsberger, Hans. The World of Vermeer 1632-1675. New York, 1967: 142-143, repro.
1968
Kühn, Hermann. "A Study of the Pigments and the Grounds Used by Jan Vermeer." Report and Studies in the History of Art 2 (1968-1969): 195, no. 21.
1968
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 122, repro.
1969
Mittelstädt, Kuno. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Welt der Kunst. Berlin, 1969: 15, 44, color repro.
1970
Walicki, Michal. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Dresden, 1970: 39-40, 125, fig. 56.
1973
Fahy, Everett, and Francis John Bagott Watson. The Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5: Paintings, drawings, sculpture. New York, 1973: 313-314, repro.
1973
Mistler, Jean. Vermeer. Collection Le Peintre et l’Homme. Paris, 1973: 45-46, no. 29, color repro.
1973
Sonnenburg, Hubertus von. "Technical Comments." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 31, no. 4 (Summer 1973): unpaginated, figs. 93 and 94 (details).
1973
Walsh, John, Jr. "Vermeer." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 31, no. 4 (Summer 1973): unpaginated, figs. 37 and 38 (details).
1974
Grimme, Ernst Günther. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Cologne, 1974: 61, no. 21, fig. 13.
1975
Blankert, Albert. Johannes Vermeer van Delft, 1632-1675. Utrecht, 1975: 108-110, 167-168, 202, repro.
1975
National Gallery of Art. European paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. Washington, 1975: 362, repro.
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 304, no. 407, repro.
1976
Wright, Christopher. Vermeer. London, 1976: 12, 46, repro. no. 20, 78, 81, 84-85.
1977
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Perspective, Optics, and Delft Artists around 1650. Outstanding dissertations in the fine arts. New York, 1977: 292, 298, repro. 99.
1978
Blankert, Albert. Vermeer of Delft: Complete Edition of the Paintings. Oxford, 1978: 73-74, 172, cat. B.3, color repro.
1978
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. "Zur Technik zweier Bilder, die Vermeer zugeschrieben sind." Maltechnik-Restauro 84 (1978): 242-257, repros.
1981
Slatkes, Leonard J. Vermeer and His Contemporaries. New York, 1981: 97, color repro.
1981
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Jan Vermeer. New York, 1981: 39, 47, 130, color pl. 34, 132, 144, 156, 162 nn. 93-96.
1983
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. "Northern Baroque." In Encyclopedia of World Art 17 vols. Bernard S. Myers, ed. Palatine, Illinois, 1983: 16 (supplement):198, pl. 45, color repro.
1984
Pops, Martin. Vermeer: Consciousness and the Chamber of Being. Studies in the Fine Arts. Ann Arbor, 1984: 68, repro. 69, 71, 76, 96, 99, 103.
1984
Rosenberg, Jakob, Seymour Slive, and Engelbert H. ter Kuile. Dutch Art and Architecture. The Pelican History of Art. Revised ed. Harmondsworth, 1984: 122.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 304, no. 402, color repro.
1985
Brentjens, Yvonne. "Twee meisjes van Vermeer in Washington." Tableau 7 (February 1985): 54-58, repro.
1985
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. Washington, 1985: 420, repro.
1985
Pelfrey, Robert H., and Mary Hall-Pelfrey. Art and Mass Media. New York, 1985: fig. 8.
1986
Aillaud, Gilles, Albert Blankert, and John Michael Montias. Vermeer. Paris, 1986: 200, 201, cat. b3, repro.
1986
Sutton, Peter C. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Washington and Grand Rapids, 1986: 311-312.
1988
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. "The Art Historian in the Laboratory: Examinations into the History, Preservation, and Techniques of 17th Century Dutch Painting." In The Age of Rembrandt : studies in seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Papers in art history from the Pennsylvania State University 3. Edited by Roland E. Fleischer and Susan Scott Munshower. University Park, PA, 1988: 220, 239 fig. 9-22, 240 fig. 9-23 (x-ray), 241 fig. 9-24 (infra-red photo).
1989
Montias, John Michael. Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History. Princeton, 1989: 265-266.
1990
Liedtke, Walter A. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and their Ideals." In Great Dutch Paintings from America. Edited by Ben P.J. Broos. Exh. cat. Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Zwolle, 1990: 51.
1991
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 63, 67, color repro.
1992
Grèce, Michel de. Portrait et séduction. Paris, 1992: 145, repro.
1993
Schneider, Norbert. Jan Vermeer 1632-1675: Verhüllung der Gefühle. Cologne, 1993: 72, 95, no. 73, repro.
1994
Knafou, Rémy. Vermeer: mystère du quotidien. Paris, 1994: 9, repro.
1995
Bailey, Martin. Vermeer. London, 1995: 88-89, color repro.
1995
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr., and Ben P. J. Broos. Johannes Vermeer. Edited by Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington; Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, 1995: no. 14, repro.
1995
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1995: 382-387, color repro. 383.
1995
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Vermeer and the Art of Painting. New Haven, 1995: 119, 120 color fig. 84, 121-127, detail and conservation figs. 85, 87, 88, 89a, 89b, no. A23, repro. 180.
1995
Wright, Christopher. Vermeer: catalogue raisonné. London, 1995: no. 21, 42-44, color repro.
1996
Chalumeau, Jean Luc. Vermeer, 1632-1675. Découvrons l'art - XVIIe siècle 1. Paris, 1996: no.16, repro.
1996
Larsen, Erik. Jan Vermeer. Translated by Tania Gargiulo. Biblioteca d'arte. Florence, 1996: no. A 7, 119, repro.
1996
Netta, Irene. Das Phänomen Zeit bei Jan Vermeer van Delft: eine Analyse der innerbildlichen Zeitstrukturen seiner ein- und mehrfigurigen Interieurbilder. Studien zur Kunstgeschichte 105. Hildesheim, 1996: 251, fig. 17.
1997
Gowing, Lawrence. Vermeer. 3rd ed. London, 1997: no. 57, 145-147, repro.
1997
Robinson, James. "Vermeer." Classical Realism Journal 3, no. 2 (1997): 4, 13 fig. 1.
1997
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Vermeer: The Complete Works. New York, 1997: 50-51, no. 23, repro.
1998
Gifford, Melanie E. "Painting Light: Recent Observations on Vermeer's Technique." In Vermeer Studies. Edited by Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Studies in the History of Art 55 (1998): 185-199, fig. 3.
1998
McLellan, Diana. "Really Big Shows." Washingtonian 33, no. 11 (August 1998): 70.
1998
Montias, John Michael. "Recent archival research on Vermeer." in Vermeer Studies. Edited by Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Studies in the History of Art 55. Washington, 1998: 185-199.
1998
Robinson, James. "Vermeer, Part III." Classical Realism Journal 4, no. 2 (1998): 58-67, repro. back cover.
1998
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. A Collector's Cabinet. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1998: 68, no. 60.
1999
Sweet, Christopher. The Essential Johannes Vermeer. New York, 1999: 80-81, repro.
1999
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr., and Mari Griffith. Johannes Vermeer: The Art of Painting. Exhibition brochure. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1999: fig. 11.
1999
Zuffi, Stefano and Francesca Castria, La peinture baroque. Translated by Silvia Bonucci and Claude Sophie Mazéas. Paris, 1999: 208, color repro.
2000
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. The Public and the Private in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat. Osaka Municipal Museum of Art. London, 2000: 202, no. 21, repro.
2001
Franits, Wayne E., ed. The Cambridge companion to Vermeer. Cambridge, England, and New York, 2001: 163, 172, 173, 180, pl. 22.
2001
Liedtke, Walter A., Michiel Plomp, and Axel Rüger. Vermeer and the Delft school. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery, London. New Haven, 2001: no. 74, 386-389, repro.
2001
Netta, Irene. Vermeer's world: an artist and his town. Pegasus Library. Munich and New York, 2001: 33, 86, repro.
2001
Southgate, M. Therese. The Art of JAMA II: Covers and Essays from The Journal of the American Medical Association. Chicago, 2001: 56-57, color repro.
2001
Steadman, Philip. Vermeer's camera: uncovering the truth behind the masterpieces. Oxford, 2001: 160-161, repro.
2002
Bailey, Anthony. Vermeer. Translated by Bettina Blumenberg. Berlin, 2002: color repro. between 160 and 161.
2003
Huerta, Robert D. Giants of Delft: Johannes Vermeer and the natural philosophers: the parallel search for knowledge during the age of discovery. Lewisburg, 2003: 45, 46, repro., 49, 51, 99, 102,103.
2003
Vergara, Alejandro. Vermeer y el interior holandés. Exh. cat. Museo nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2003: 176-177, 255-256, color repro.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 208-209, no. 164, color repro.
2005
Fahy, Everett, ed. The Wrightsman Pictures. New Haven, 2005: 134-135, under cat. 37, fig. 4.
2005
Huerta, Robert D. Vermeer and Plato: painting the ideal. Lewisburg, 2005: 42-43, repro.
2005
Wright, Christopher. Vermeer. Revised ed. London, 2005: 50-52, color repro.
2008
Dolnick, Edward. The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century. New York, 2008: 107, 134.
2008
Liedtke, Walter A. Vermeer: the complete paintings. Ghent, 2008: no. 24, 136-139, color repro.
2008
Lopez, Jonathan. The man who made Vermeers: unvarnishing the legend of master forger Han van Meegeren. Orlando, 2008: 53, 55, 104, 175.
2010
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. "Die Malkunst." In Vermeer, die Malkunst: Spurensicherung an einem Meisterwerk = Vermeer, the Art of Painting: Scrutiny of a Picture. Edited by Sabine Haag, Elke Oberthaler and Sabine Pénot. Catalog in German, essays also translated into English. Exh. cat. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 2010: 32-33 (German), fig. 6, 268 (English).
2011
Henderson, Jasper and Victor Schiferli. Vermeer: The Life and Work of a Master. Amsterdam, 2011: 56-57, color ill.
2012
Humphries, Oscar, ed. “Listings: Agenda, 7.” Apollo 176, no. 602 (October 2012): 25, color repro.
2012
Percival, Melissa. Fragonard and the Fantasy Figure: Painting the Imagination. Burlington, Vt., 2012: 58, fig. 2.7.
2012
Tummers, Anna. The Eye of the Connoisseur: Authenticating Paintings by Rembrandt and His Contemporaries. Amsterdam, 2012: 28, 29, 30, color fig. 9.
2012
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr., Walter A. Liedtke, and Sandrina Bandera Bistoletti. Vermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese. Exh. cat. Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Milan, 2012: no. 49, 216-217, color repro.
2014
Krempel, León. "Allegorische Tronie-Paare bei Johannes Vermeer." in Tronies: das Gesicht in der frühen Neuzeit. Edited by Dagmar Hirschfelder and León Krempel. Berlin, 2014: 97-107, 112, 122, color pl. 9, as "Ecclesia."

Conservation Notes

The support is a single wood plank, probably oak, with a vertical grain. A cradle, including a wooden collar around all four sides of the panel, was attached before the painting entered the collection. A partially completed painting exists underneath the present composition oriented 180 degrees with respect to the girl. The X-radiograph reveals the head-and-shoulders portrait of a man wearing a white kerchief around his neck and a button on his garment. Infrared reflectography at 1.1 to 2.5 microns[1] shows a cape across his shoulder, a broad-brimmed hat, locks of long curling hair, and vigorous brushwork in the background.

The panel was initially prepared with a light tan double ground.[2] The male bust was executed in a dark brown painted sketch, before flesh tones were applied to the face and white to the kerchief. The portrait of the young girl was painted directly over the underlying composition, with the exception of the area of the man’s kerchief, which Vermeer apparently toned down with a brown paint.

The paint used to model the girl was applied with smoothly blended strokes. Layered applications of paint of varying transparencies and thicknesses, often blended wet-into-wet, produced soft contours and diffused lighting effects. The paint in the white kerchief around the girl’s neck has been scraped back to expose darker paint below.

The painting was treated in 1994 to remove discolored varnish and inpaint. The treatment revealed the painting to be in excellent condition with just a few minor losses along the edges. The painting had been treated previously in 1933, probably by Louis de Wild, and in 1942 by Frank Sullivan.

[1] Infrared reflectography was performed with a Santa Barbara focal plane array InSb camera fitted with H, J, and K astronomy filters.

[2] The lower ground consists of calcium carbonate, the upper ground of white lead lightly toned with earth and black (see Melanie Gifford, "Painting Light: Recent Observations on Vermeer's Technique," in Vermeer Studies, ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker [Washington, D.C., 1998], 185–199).

Related Works

Related Resources

  • Event Type
    Event Name
    March 1–June 1
    Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
    March 5, 2012 at 2:00
    March 7, 2012 at 4:00
    East Building, Auditorium
    Name of docent
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum
    60 minutes
    Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
    Download the program notes (100k)
  • Self-Guided Tour
    Italian Collection
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum