Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Love Letter

Artist:
Jacob Ochtervelt (Dutch, Rotterdam 1634–1682 Amsterdam)
Date:
early 1670s
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
36 x 25 in. (91.4 x 63.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Mendelsohn, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.203.5
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 632
Ochtervelt was a co-pupil of Pieter de Hooch under Nicolaas Bercham in Haarlem. He worked in his native Rotterdam from about 1655 to 1674, and then moved to Amsterdam. This typical scene of elegant domestic life was painted around 1670, when Ochtervelt was strongly influenced by Gerard ter Borch.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Mendelsohn, New York (until 1980)
Dublin. National Gallery of Ireland. "Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer," October 1–December 31, 2003, no. 41 (as "A Woman Reading a Letter with Two Maidservants").

Greenwich, Conn. Bruce Museum. "Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer," January 31–May 2, 2004, no. 41.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Communication: Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer," June 25–October 16, 2011, no. 31.

Sendai. Miyagi Museum of Art. "Communication: Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer," October 27–December 12, 2011, no. 31.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Communication: Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer," December 23, 2011–March 14, 2012, no. 31.

Walter A. Liedtke in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1980–1981. New York, 1981, p. 44, ill., dates it about 1670 and notes the influence of Ter Borch.

Peter C. Sutton in Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Greenwich, Conn., 2003, pp. 193–95, no. 41, ill. (color), dates it to the early 1670s; relates it to "The Letter Reader" (fig. 1; whereabouts unknown).

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 522–23, no. 134, colorpl. 134, agrees with Sutton's [see Ref. 2003] dating to the early 1670s.

Alexandra B. Libby in Human Connections in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat., Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Tokyo, 2011, pp. 106–8, no. 31, ill. (color).



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