Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Allegory of the Catholic Faith

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)
ca. 1670–72
Oil on canvas
45 x 35 in. (114.3 x 88.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 632
In this atypical painting the artist employed a more abstractive style to suit the intellectual subject. The emotive figure of Faith with "the world at her feet" (according to Ripa’s compendium of allegories) casts her eyes to Heaven, symbolized by a glass sphere. On the floor, the apple of Original Sin sits near a serpent, representing Satan, who is crushed by Christ, the "cornerstone" of the church. The room, revealed behind a Flemish tapestry, looks like a chapel set up in a private house. Vermeer, who converted to Catholicism in order to marry, probably refers to the "hidden churches" where Catholics worshiped in the officially Protestant Dutch Republic.
Painted about 1670–72, this picture presents an allegory of Vermeer's adopted religion, and was probably made expressly for a private Catholic patron or for a schuilkerk, a hidden Catholic church. It is unlike any other work by Vermeer, though it shows compositional similarities to The Art of Painting (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) of about 1666–68. The latter work is also allegorical in subject, but only nominally, as it was intended mainly as a virtuosic display of the artist's abilities. In the MMA canvas, Vermeer shifts his late style towards a more classicist and schematic manner.

The choice and interpretation of the imagery included here would have been discussed by the artist and his patron. For many of the allegorical motifs, Vermeer must have turned to Cesare Ripa's emblem book, Iconologia (Rome, 1603), translated in a Dutch edition by Dirck Pietersz Pers (Amsterdam, 1644). The female figure represents the Catholic Faith, wearing white, a symbol of purity, and blue, the "hue of heaven". A hand raised to the heart indicates the source of living faith. She rests her foot on a globe, published in 1618 by Jodocus Hondius, to illustrate Ripa's description of Faith with "the world under her feet". In the foreground, Vermeer shows the "cornerstone" of the Church (Christ) crushing a serpent (Satan). The nearby apple, which has been bitten, stands for original sin. The table is transformed into an altar with the addition of a chalice, crucifix, and a Bible or, more likely because of its proximity to other objects used for the Mass, a missal. The glass sphere, hanging from a ribbon, was a popular decorative curiosity; in this context, it may be viewed as a symbol of heaven or God. The room itself, with its high ceiling, marble floor, and a large altarpiece based on a work by Jacob Jordaens (possibly identical with one in Vermeer's estate), was meant to be recognized by contemporary viewers as a private chapel installed within a large house or some other secular building. Though apparently an illusionistic device, the tapestry at left would also have been understood as part of a very large hanging, drawn aside to reveal a normally secluded space (Liedtke 2007).

[2010; adapted from Liedtke 2007]
Herman Stoffelsz van Swoll, Amsterdam (until d. 1698; his estate sale, Amsterdam, April 22, 1699, no. 25, for fl. 400); sale, Amsterdam, July 13, 1718, no. 8, for fl. 500; sale, Amsterdam, April 19, 1735, no. 11, for fl. 53; [David Ietswart, until 1749; sale, Amsterdam, April 22, 1749, no. 152, for fl. 70 to Ravensberg]; private collection, Austria (in 1824); Dmitri Shchukin, Moscow (1899); [Wächtler, Berlin, 1899; sold for 700 marks to Bredius]; Abraham Bredius, The Hague (1899–1928, on loan to Mauritshuis, The Haugue, 1899–1923, and to Museum Boymans, Rotterdam, 1923–28; sold to Kleinberger); [Kleinberger, Paris, 1928; sold to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1928–d. 1931)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

Delft. Museum Prinsenhof. "Prisma der bijbelse kunst," May 17–August 12, 1952, no. 324.

Dallas Museum of Art. "Trompe l'Oeil: Paintings that Fool the Eye by Masters from Vermeer to Dali," October 10–30, 1953, no catalogue?

Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Johannes Vermeer," November 12, 1995–February 11, 1996, no. 20.

The Hague. Mauritshuis. "Johannes Vermeer," March 1–June 2, 1996, no. 20.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vermeer and the Delft School," March 8–May 27, 2001, no. 77.

London. National Gallery. "Vermeer and the Delft School," June 20–September 16, 2001, no. 77.

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.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vermeer's Masterpiece 'The Milkmaid'," September 9–November 29, 2009, no. 10.

Rome. Scuderie del Quirinale. "Vermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese," September 27, 2012–January 20, 2013, no. 50.

Gerard Hoet. Catalogus of Naamlyst van Schilderyen, met derzelver pryzen, zedert een langen reeks van Jaaren zoo in Holland als op andere Plaatzen in het openbaar verkogt. Vol. 1, The Hague, 1752, p. 48, no. 25, p. 216, no. 8, p. 438, no. 11, as an allegory of the New Testament by Vermeer, in Amsterdam sales of April 22, 1699, sold for fl. 400; July 13, 1718, sold for fl. 500; and April 19, 1735, sold for fl. 53.

Gerard Hoet. Catalogus of Naamlyst van Schilderyen, met derzelver pryzen, zedert een langen reeks van Jaaren zoo in Holland als op andere Plaatzen in het openbaar verkogt. Vol. 2, The Hague, 1752, p. 248, no. 152, as sold by David Jetswaart [Ietswaart] in Amsterdam on April 22, 1749, for fl. 70.

W. Burger [Théophile Thoré]. Musées de la Hollande. Vol. 2, Musée van der Hoop, à Amsterdam, et Musée de Rotterdam. Paris, 1860, p. 86.

W. Bürger [Théophile Thoré]. "Van der Meer de Delft (3e et dernier article)." Gazette des beaux-arts 21 (December 1866), p. 566.

Henry Havard. Van der Meer de Delft. Paris, 1888, p. 38, no. 46.

C. H. C. Flugi Van Aspermont. "Mauritshuis." Bulletin uitgegeven door den Nederlandschen Oudheidkundigen Bond 1 (October 1899), p. 34.

Frank Rinder. "Jan Vermeer of Delft." Art-Journal (August 1904), p. 257, ill. p. 256.

C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 1, London, 1907, pp. 582–83, no. 2, as sold by the dealer Wächtler to Bredius for 700 marks as a work by Van der Neer, and as on loan from Bredius to the Royal Picture Gallery [Mauritshuis], The Hague, since 1899; identifies the Crucifixion scene in the background as by Jacob Jordaens.

W[ilhelm]. Martin. "La Jeune fille à la flûte de Vermeer de Delft." L'art flamand & hollandais 8 (July 1907), p. 21 [published in Dutch in Onze Kunst 12 (July 1907), pp. 21–22].

Gustave Vanzype. Vermeer de Delft. Brussels, 1908, pp. 39, 90, ill. opp. p. 80, as found by Dr. Bredius in Moscow.

Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. Jan Vermeer of Delft and Carel Fabritius. Amsterdam, 1909, pp. 25–26, 29, pl. 2.

Jan Veth. "Gemälde von Johannes Vermeer." Kunst und Künstler 8 (1910), pp. 113–14, ill. p. 104.

Eduard Plietzsch. Vermeer van Delft. Leipzig, 1911, pp. 82–84, 117, no. 20, pl. XXXII.

Georges Dreyfous. L'oeuvre de Jan Vermeer de Delft dit Van Der Meer de Delft (1632–1675). Paris, 1912, pp. 12–13, 29.

Philip L. Hale. Jan Vermeer of Delft. Boston, 1913, pp. 46, 135, 243, 304–7, 373, ill. opp. p. 204, as rediscovered by Bredius in Berlin.

A. J. Barnouw. "Vermeers zoogenaamd 'Novum Testamentum'." Oud-Holland 30 (1914), pp. 50–54, ill., identifies it as an allegory of the Catholic faith, citing a text from the "Iconologia" of Cesare Ripa as the source of its iconography.

Abraham Bredius and Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. Catalogue raisonné des tableaux et des sculptures. Ed. W[ilhelm]. Martin. 2nd ed. The Hague, 1914, pp. 406–7, no. 625.

Georg Jacob Wolf. "Jan Vermeer van Delft." Westermanns Monatshefte 119 (September 1915), ill. p. 66.

Wilhelm von Bode. Die Meister der holländischen und vlämischen Malerschulen. Leipzig, 1917, p. 75.

A[lbert]. E[ugene]. Gallatin. "Vermeer of Delft." American Magazine of Art 8 (August 1917), pp. 389–90.

W[ilhelm]. Martin. Alt-Holländische Bilder. Berlin, 1918, p. 38, fig. 19.

P. Johansen. "Jan Vermeer de Delft." Oud-Holland 38 (1920), pp. 193–94, 197–98.

E. V. Lucas. Vermeer of Delft. London, [1922?], pp. 23, 29–30.

[D. Hannema]. Verslag van het museum Boijmans te Rotterdam (1923), p. 7.

Wilhelm Hausenstein. Vermeer van Delft. Munich, 1924, p. 25, pl. 37.

Jean Chantavoine. Ver Meer De Delft. Paris, 1926, pp. 37, 39, 43, 48, 51, 61, 67, 76, 79–80, 83, 88, ill. p. 89.

[D. Hannema]. Verslag van het museum Boijmans te Rotterdam (1928), p. 9.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), pp. 44–46, no. 78, ill. p. 47, state that "for what institution, if any, the Allegory was ordered we do not know".

William Walker Rockwell. Letter. April 17, 1933, suggests that it was painted for a Roman Catholic institution.

André de Hevesy. "L'Exposition Vermeer de Rotterdam." Bulletin de l'art [supplement of Revue de l'art] 68 (November 1935), p. 366.

Paul Claudel. Introduction à la peinture hollandaise. Paris, 1935, pp. 46–48.

Philip L. Hale. Vermeer. Boston, 1937, pp. 29, 75, 115–17, pl. 13.

Eduard Plietzsch. Vermeer van Delft. Munich, 1939, pp. 36–37, 52, 57, fig. 40, states that it appears in the background of a double portrait, dated 1824, by Waldmüller.

A. B. de Vries. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Amsterdam, 1939, pp. 51, 94, no. 40, fig. 63, dates it about 1669–70.

Eduard Trautscholdt in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 34, Leipzig, 1940, p. 269.

André Blum. Vermeer et Thoré-Bürger. Geneva, 1945, pp. 180, 198, no. 41, ill. between pp. 176 and 177.

Paul Claudel. L'Oeil Écoute. Paris, 1946, p. 25.

Elizabeth E. Gardner. "Thoré's Sphinx." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7 (November 1948), pp. 76, 78, ill. p. 75.

A. B. de Vries. Jan Vermeer van Delft. London, 1948, pp. 43–44, 94, pl. 29.

A. Zijderveld. "Cesare Ripa's Iconologia in ons land." Oud-Holland 64 (1949), p. 117 n. 1.

P. T. A. Swillens. Johannes Vermeer, Painter of Delft, 1632–1675. Utrecht, 1950, pp. 50, 60, 72, 84–86, 96–99, 102, 116, 118, 135, no. 24, pls. 24, 46, 73 (overall, details, and diagram), states that it should be called "The Faith," after Ripa's text of that name.

Lawrence Gowing. Vermeer. London, 1952, pp. 57–58, 71 n. 17, pp. 153–55, no. XXXIII, pls. 71–73 (overall and details), as perhaps representing the only figure from Vermeer's maturity not painted largely from life; discusses a precedent in works of Vermeer's contemporaries.

André Malraux. Vermeer de Delft. Paris, 1952, pp. 106–8, no. XXXI, ill. (color).

Anne Berendsen. Prisma der bijbelse kunst. Exh. cat., Museum Prinsenhof. Delft, 1952, pp. 216–17, no. 324, fig. 53.

Vitale Bloch. Tutta la pittura di Vermeer di Delft. Milan, 1954, pp. 23, 37–38, pls. 79–80 (overall and detail) [English ed., New York, 1963, pp. 22, 38, pls. 79–80 (overall and detail)], dates it after 1670.

Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 3.

Michal Walicki. Vermeer. Warsaw, 1956, pp. 36, 53, pl. 43.

Seymour Slive. "Notes on the Relationship of Protestantism to Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting." Art Quarterly 19 (Spring 1956), pp. 8, 14 n. 15, fig. 2.

Bruno Grimschitz. Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Salzburg, 1957, p. 286, under no. 129, publishes the double portrait by Waldmüller, dated 1824, in which this painting or a copy of it appears in the background.

Ludwig Goldscheider. Jan Vermeer: The Paintings. London, 1958, pp. 39, 142–43, no. 36, pls. 83–84 (overall and detail).

Lawrence Gowing. Johannes Vermeer. London, 1961, p. 34, no. 88, pl. 88.

Jakob Rosenberg and Seymour Slive in Dutch Art and Architecture: 1600 to 1800. Baltimore, 1966, p. 123.

Piero Bianconi in L'opera completa di Vermeer. Milan, 1967, p. 97, no. 42, ill. p. 97 and colorpls. LXI–LXIV (overall and details) [English ed., 1970].

Horst Gerson in Encyclopedia of World Art. Vol. 14, New York, 1967, col. 743, pl. 339.

Hans Koningsberger. The World of Vermeer, 1632–1675. New York, 1967, pp. 150, 162–63, ill. (color, overall and details).

Seymour Slive. "'Een Dronke Slapende Meyd aen een Tafel' by Jan Vermeer." Festschrift Ulrich Middeldorf. Berlin, 1968, text vol., pp. 453–54; plate vol., pl. CXCIV, fig. 3.

Harry Berger Jr. "Conspicuous Exclusion in Vermeer: An Essay in Renaissance Pastoral." Yale French Studies no. 47 (1972), pp. 244–52, 264.

Jakob Rosenberg and Seymour Slive in Dutch Art and Architecture: 1600 to 1800. rev. ed. Harmondsworth, England, 1972, pp. 208–9.

John Walsh Jr. "Vermeer." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (Summer 1973), unpaginated, fig. 63 (color) and back cover (color detail).

Hubert von Sonnenburg. "Technical Comments." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (Summer 1973), unpaginated, figs. 87 and back cover (color details).

Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5, Paintings, Drawings. [New York], 1973, p. 310.

Julián Gállego and Frédéric Mégret. La grande histoire de la peinture. Vol. 10, Le Siècle d'or en Hollande. [Geneva], 1973, p. 50.

[Jean Mistler]. Vermeer. [Paris], [1973], pp. 37, 39, 48, unpaginated cat., no. 33, ill. (color).

Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 1974, p. 282.

John B. Knipping. Iconography of the Counter Reformation in the Netherlands: Heaven on Earth. Nieuwkoop, The Netherlands, 1974, vol. 1, p. 24, pl. 13.

Ernst Günther Grimme. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Cologne, 1974, pp. 80, 82, 109, no. 35, ill., and fig. 24.

Albert Blankert, Rob Ruurs, and Willem L. van de Watering. Johannes Vermeer van Delft, 1632–1675. Utrecht, 1975, pp. 11, 88, 111 n. 2, pp. 162–64, no. 29, colorpl. 29 [English ed., "Vermeer of Delft," Oxford, 1978, pp. 10, 58–59, 75 n. 2, pp. 169–70, no. 29, pls. 29, 29a, 29b (overall and details)].

George Mauner. Manet, Peintre-Philosophe: A Study of the Painter's Themes. University Park, Pa., 1975, p. 113, compares the rock crushing a serpent to a similar detail in Manet's "Dead Christ and the Angels" (MMA, 29.100.51).

James A. Welu. "Vermeer: His Cartographic Sources." Art Bulletin 57 (December 1975), pp. 541–44, figs. 13–14 (overall and detail) [expanded in Ref. Welu 1977], identifies the globe as the second edition, dated 1618, of a design by Jodocus Hondius.

E. de Jongh. "Pearls of Virtue and Pearls of Vice." Simiolus 8, no. 2 (1975/1976), pp. 69–75, 95, figs. 1, 2 (overall and detail), discusses the string of pearls as a symbol of religious faith.

Christopher Wright. Vermeer. London, 1976, pp. 13, 15, 75–76, 81, 84–85, pl. 34, ill. p. 67 (detail), erroneously as in the Oostenwijk collection [sic for Oostenrijk (Austrian)] in 1824.

Herbert Wiesner. Master Painters of Holland: Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century. New York, 1976, p. 12.

James A. Welu. "Vermeer and Cartography." PhD diss., Boston University, 1977, vol. 1, pp. 52–53, 126 nn. 62, 63, p. 138, no. 91, no. 5; vol. 2, figs. 70–71 (overall and detail).

Evert van Straaten. Johannes Vermeer, 1632–1675: Een Delfts schilder en de cultuur van zijn tijd. The Hague, 1977, p. 79, figs. 39, 99 (overall and detail).

John Michael Montias. "New Documents on Vermeer and his Family." Oud Holland 91, no. 4 (1977), p. 280 n. 62.

Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, p. 348, fig. 623 (color).

Albert Blankert. "Classicism in Dutch Painting, 1614–1670." Gods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1980, pp. 29, 33 n. 82.

J[ohn]. M[ichael]. Montias. "Vermeer and his Milieu: Conclusion of an Archival Study." Oud Holland 94, no. 1 (1980), p. 58, states that the iconography "seems to reflect Jesuit tenets".

Leonard J. Slatkes. Vermeer and His Contemporaries. New York, 1981, pp. 106–9, ill. (color, overall and detail), dates it about 1672–74.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Jan Vermeer. New York, 1981, p. 148, colorpl. 43, dates it about 1671–74.

Andreas Hauser. "Allegorischer Realismus: zur Ikono-logik von Vermeers 'Messkünstler'." Städel-Jahrbuch, n.s., 8 (1981), pp. 190, 202 n. 20.

David R. Smith. "Review of Naumann 1981." Art Bulletin 65 (December 1983), p. 698.

Nanette Salomon. "Vermeer and the Balance of Destiny." Essays in Northern European Art Presented to Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann on His Sixtieth Birthday. Ed. Anne-Marie Logan. Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 1983, p. 218 [reprinted in "Shifting Priorities: Gender and Genre in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting," Stanford, 2004, p. 15].

Ivan Gaskell. "Vermeer, Judgment and Truth." Burlington Magazine 126 (September 1984), pp. 558, 561 n. 32.

Martin Pops. Vermeer: Consciousness and the Chamber of Being. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1984, pp. 68, 71, 74, 76, 95, 107 n. 11, fig. 45.

Bob Haak. The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. New York, 1984, p. 451, fig. 990.

Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, pp. 180–81, fig. 256.

James Welu. "Vermeer's Astronomer: Observations on an Open Book." Art Bulletin 68 (June 1986), pp. 264–65 nn. 8–9.

Gilles Aillaud, Albert Blankert, and John Michael Montias. Vermeer. Paris, 1986, pp. 10, 12, 45, 51, 54–55, 64, 142, 191, 196–97, 225, no. 29, colorpl. XXXI, figs. 37, 41 (details) [English ed., 1988, pp. 10, 12, 45, 51, 54–55, 65, 146, 168 n. 81, 192–93, 224, no. 29, colorpl. 31, figs. 37, 41 (details).

Bärbel Hedinger. Karten in Bildern: Zur Ikonographie der Wandkarte in holländischen Interieurgemälden des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts. Hildesheim, 1986, pp. 114–15, fig. 125.

John Michael Montias. "Vermeer's Clients and Patrons." Art Bulletin 69 (March 1987), pp. 73–74.

John Michael Montias. Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History. Princeton, 1989, pp. 149, 155, 188–89, 191–92, 202, 215, 257, 266, fig. 39.

Christopher Wright. Dutch Paintings in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections. Exh. cat., Birmingham City Museums and Art Gallery. London, 1989, pp. 105, 109.

Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, p. 52.

Arthur K. Wheelock in Opus Sacrum. Ed. Józef Grabski. Exh. cat., Royal Castle, Warsaw. Vienna, 1990, p. 272.

John Nash. Vermeer. London, 1991, pp. 19, 21, 25–26, 28, 30, 35–36, 41, 44, 49, 82, 100, 104, 106, 108, 120, 122, 125, ill. p. 109 (color).

Marjolein de Boer and Josefine Leistra. Bredius, Rembrandt en het Mauritshuis!!!. The Hague, 1991, p. 110, no. 6.

Introduction by Walter A. Liedtke in Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America. Antwerp, 1992, p. 24.

R[oger].-A. d'Hulst et al. in Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678). Ed. Hans Devisscher and Nora de Poorter. Exh. cat., Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Vol. 1, "Paintings and Tapestries."Brussels, 1993, p. 20, lists a painting in Vermeer's estate inventory of February 29, 1676, which can probably be identified as the version of Jordaens's Christ on the Cross depicted in the background of this work.

Ben Broos. Intimacies & Intrigues: History Painting in the Mauritshuis. The Hague, 1993, p. 27, fig. 19.

Celeste Brusati. Johannes Vermeer. New York, 1993, unpaginated, colorpl. 15.

Daniel Arasse. L'Ambition de Vermeer. Paris, 1993, pp. 30–32, 49–52, 55, 70–71, 78–79, 121–22, 142, 156, 170, 173–78, 183–84 nn. 33, 38, 2, 9, pp. 195–96 nn. 13, 28, pp. 197–98 nn. 44, 45, pp. 203–5, colorpls. II–III (overall and detail), fig. 8 [English ed., Princeton, 1994, different pagination].

Nora de Poorter in Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678). Ed. Hans Devisscher and Nora de Poorter. Exh. cat., Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Vol. 1, "Paintings and Tapestries."Brussels, 1993, p. 112, under no. A27, fig. A27b, suggests that the less crowded arrangement of figures in the painting in the background of this work should pehaps be considered an improvement on Jordaens's invention.

E. de Jongh. Faces of the Golden Age: Seventeenth Century Dutch Portrait[s]. Exh. cat., Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art. [The Hague], 1994, p. 125, under no. 32, fig. 32a; English supplement, p. 48.

Edward Snow. A Study of Vermeer. rev., enl. ed. Berkeley, 1994, pp. 135–36, 138, 152, 169 n. 6, pp. 174–75 n. 25, pp. 205–7 nn. 55–58, colorpl. 53, pl. 65 (detail).

Jørgen Wadum. Vermeer Illuminated. The Hague, [1994?], pp. 8, 44 n. 8.

Seymour Slive. Dutch Painting 1600–1800. New Haven, 1995, pp. 4, 152, 167, fig. 198.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Ben Broos in Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1995, pp. 88, 168–69 n. 13, pp. 190–95, no. 20, ill. (color, overall and detail).

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. in Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1995, p. 27.

Albert Blankert in Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1995, pp. 34, 41.

Ben Broos in Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1995, pp. 55, 61, 64 n. 67.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Vermeer & the Art of Painting. New Haven, 1995, pp. 5, 37, fig. A34, dates it about 1671–74.

Ben Broos. "'A Most Disagreeable Vermeer'." Mauritshuis in focus 8 (December 1995), pp. 21–26, fig. 12.

Kees Zandvliet in The Scholarly World of Vermeer. Exh. cat.Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1996, p. 75, ill. p. 72 (color detail).

Erik Larsen. Jan Vermeer: Catalogo completo. Florence, 1996, pp. 6, 25, 27, 34, 109, no. 28, ill. p. 110, dates it about 1674.

Christiane Hertel. Vermeer: Reception and Interpretation. Cambridge, 1996, pp. 9–10, 146–47, 151, 165, 180, 184, 205–29, colorpl. VIII.

Wayne Franits in The Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 32, New York, 1996, pp. 265, 267–68.

Paul Abels in Dutch Society in the Age of Vermeer. Ed. Donald Haks and Marie Christine van der Sman. Exh. cat., Haags Historisch Museum. The Hague, 1996, pp. 75–77 n. 35, ill.

Mariët Westermann. The Amusements of Jan Steen: Comic Painting in the Seventeenth Century. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1997, p. 81 n. 129, pp. 305, 312 n. 83.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Vermeer: The Complete Works. New York, 1997, pp. 52, 66, colorpl. 33.

Jane ten Brink Goldsmith in Dutch Art: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Sheila D. Muller. New York, 1997, p. 433, fig. 115.

Víctor I. Stoichita. The Self-Aware Image: An Insight into Early Modern Meta-Painting. Cambridge, 1997, pp. 260–62, fig. 124, discusses Vermeer's use of the drawn curtain in this picture and in "The Art of Painting" (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

Ghislain Kieft in La pittura nei Paesi Bassi. Ed. Bert W. Meijer. Milan, 1997, vol. 2, p. 477, fig. 462.

Elfriede R. Knauer. "Vermeers 'Allegorie des Glaubens' und Genesis 24, 1–67." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 61, no. 1 (1998), pp. 66–76, fig. 1, identifies the subject of the tapestry as Eliezer and Rebecca.

Leonard J. Slatkes. "Utrecht and Delft: Vermeer and Caravaggism." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, p. 91 n. 66.

Nicola Costaras. "A Study of the Materials and Tecniques of Johannes Vermeer." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, pp. 151, 153, 166–67.

Jørgen Wadum. "Contours of Vermeer." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, pp. 208–9, 222 n. 37.

Ivan Gaskell. "Valuing Vemeer." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, pp. 13–14.

Lisa Vergara. "'Antiek' and 'Modern' in Vermeer's 'Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid'." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, p. 247.

Gregor J. M. Weber. "Vermeer's Use of the Picture-within-a-Picture: A New Approach." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, p. 307 n. 33.

Daniel Arasse. "Vermeer's Private Allegories." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, pp. 341–49, ill. p. 340 (color detail) and figs. 3 and 6 (color detail).

Paul Huys Janssen. Jan van Bijlert, 1597/98–1671: Catalogue Raisonné. Philadelphia, 1998, p. 123, under no. 59, fig. 42.

Ivan Gaskell. Vermeer's Wager: Speculations on Art History, Theory and Art Museums. London, 2000, pp. 45, 177.

Walter Liedtke. A View of Delft: Vermeer and his Contemporaries. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2000, pp. 72, 195, 252, 254, 260–62, 285 n. 48, p. 293 n. 218, p. 295 nn. 272, 275, fig. 315, dates it about 1670–72 in the text and about 1672–73 in the caption, and states that it "was probably intended for the home of a prominent Catholic family, not for an institution of any kind".

Valerie Lind Hedquist. "The Real Presence of Christ and the Penitent Mary Magdalen in the 'Allegory of Faith' by Johannes Vermeer." Art History 23 (September 2000), pp. 333–64, pl. 1.

H. Perry Chapman. "Women in Vermeer's Home: Mimesis and Ideation." Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 51 (2000), p. 263.

Walter Liedtke et al. Vermeer and the Delft School. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, pp. 149–50, 164, 167–68, 397–402, 408, no. 77, ill. (color).

Wayne E. Franits in The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer. Ed. Wayne E. Franits. Cambridge, 2001, pp. 5, 10, 21, 25, pl. 32.

Philip Steadman. Vermeer's Camera. Oxford, 2001, pp. 62–64, 106–10, 114, 128, 130–31, 146–47, 153, 155, 168–69, 172–75, 192 n. 7, p. 193 n. 5, p. 195 n. 23, figs. 23 (diagram of ceiling), 24 (diagram of tile pattern), 53 (detail and diagram of mirrored sphere), 65 (scale diagram).

Anthony Bailey. Vermeer: A View of Delft. New York, 2001, pp. 65–66, 179–81, 200, 212, 226, ill. p. 178.

Valerie Hedquist. "Religion in the Art and Life of Vermeer." The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer. Ed. Wayne E. Franits. Cambridge, 2001, pp. 119, 125–30, 212 nn. 118, 122, fig. 47 (detail).

Mariët Westermann in Vermeer y el interior holandés. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 88–90, 231–32, fig. 16 (color).

Peter C. Sutton in Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Greenwich, Conn., 2003, p. 184, under no. 38 bis.

Robert D. Huerta. Giants of Delft: Johannes Vermeer and the Natural Philosophers . . . Lewisburg, Pa., 2003, pp. 27–28, 47, 49–50, 66, 82, 90, 139 n. 76.

Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis. The James Fairfax Collection of Old Master Paintings, Drawings, and Prints. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales. Sydney, 2003, p. 75, fig. 18.2.

Everett Fahy in The Wrightsman Pictures. Ed. Everett Fahy. New York, 2005, p. 131.

Robert D. Huerta. Vermeer and Plato: Painting the Ideal. Lewisburg, Pa., 2005, pp. 81, 89, 94, 98, 111, 114, 134–35 nn. 154, 158, 162, ill. p. 115.

Pierre Rosenberg. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Milan, 2006, pp. 118–19, 236, ill. (color).

Michiel C. Plomp. "Pictorial Archives: 'Jordaans' in Delft." In His Milieu: Essays on Netherlandish Art in Memory of John Michael Montias. Ed. A[my]. Golahny et al. Amsterdam, 2006, pp. 376, 382 n. 2, fig. 1.

Frank Wynne. I Was Vermeer: The Rise and Fall of the Twentieth Century's Greatest Forger. New York, 2006, pp. 86, 117, 261.

Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 39, 47, 68, 70–71, figs. 52 (color), 82 (color, MMA Vermeer gallery photograph).

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. ix–x, 421 n. 24; vol. 2, pp. 893–902, no. 206, colorpl. 206.

Bert W. Meijer in Vermeer: la ragazza alla spinetta e i pittori di Delft. Ed. Bert W. Meijer. Exh. cat., Foro Boario. Florence, 2007, pp. 53, 55, 59, 66.

Pierre Le Coz and Pierre-Éric Laroche. Vermeer ou l'action de voir. Brussels, 2007, pp. 31–33, ill. p. 30.

Walter Liedtke. "Resurrection of a Crucifixion." Art News 106 (October 2007), p. 203, ill. (color).

Peter C. Sutton. Vermeer and the Delft Style. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2008, pp. 60, 76, 164, fig. 34 (color).

Walter Liedtke. Vermeer: The Complete Paintings. Antwerp, 2008, pp. 11, 17, 19–20, 22, 47, 60, 117, 131, 146, 150, 158, 163–65, 172, 192, 198, no. 32, ill. (color, overall and details) and fig. 8 (color detail).

James Fenton. "Victims of Vermeermania." New York Review of Books 55 (November 6, 2008), p. 58.

Jonathan Lopez. The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren. Orlando, Fla., 2008, pp. 111–13, 135, 275 n., ill.

Walter Liedtke. "The Milkmaid" by Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2009, pp. 11, 21, 34, no. 10, colorpl. 10.

Karen Rosenberg. "A Humble Domestic Crosses the Sea." New York Times (September 11, 2009), p. C29.

Leo J. O'Donovan. "An Eternal Now: Vermeer at the Met." Commonweal 136 (October 23, 2009), pp. 24, 26.

Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolors: Part I. Christie's, New York. January 27, 2010, p. 62, under no. 23.

Eddy Schavemaker. Eglon van der Neer (1635/36–1703): His Life and His Work. Doornspijk, The Netherlands, 2010, p. 132, erroneously as in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Nils Büttner. Vermeer. Munich, 2010, pp. 108–9, 112, fig. 36 (color).

Adriaan E. Waiboer in Human Connections in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat., Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Tokyo, 2011, p. 96, under no. 26.

H. Perry Chapman in Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence. Exh. cat., Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. New Haven, 2011, pp. 89, 106.

Walter Liedtke in Vermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale. Milan, 2012.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. in Vermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Milan, 2012, pp. 33–34.

Paul Mitchell. "Picture Frames: Harmony and Discord." ArtBanc Market Intelligence no. 8 (September 2014), pp. 13–14, figs. 4–5 (color).

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