A young woman glances out 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 decoration of Dutch homes at the time, a sign of pride in the nation’s preeminence in navigation and cartography.
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The Painting: A young woman sits at a window, tuning a lute. With her ear cocked toward the pegbox, she strums the instrument while fixing her gaze on the window and the street beyond. The light falling into the room through the panes of leaded glass picks out the glint of pearls at the woman’s ear and throat, as well as the polished brass studs in the chair beside her. Songbooks lie strewn on the table at which she sits. Another book has tumbled to the marble floor, where it lies next to a viola da gamba. At the rear of the room, a hand-colored map of Europe hangs against the otherwise bare white wall. Someone has pushed a chair with heavy carved finials away from the table.
This picture occupies a midpoint in Vermeer’s evolution as he step-by-step mastered the convincing depiction of architectural space. In his earliest paintings, devoted to biblical or mythological subjects, bulky figures jostle against the picture plane, the ground on which they stand appearing to tilt up toward the viewer. In the genre scenes that followed, Vermeer developed compositions based around the half-length figure, anchored in space by a table that juts out of the lower left-hand corner. In Young Woman with a Lute, the perspectival recession of chair and table offers a bridge into the painting, initiating the eye’s strong diagonal movement across the canvas. Taking in the picture at a glance, we focus on the musician herself as the radiant fulcrum between the chair and the map.
As in so many of Vermeer’s paintings, illumination here takes the form of a window on the left that suffuses the middle ground in soft light while leaving the foreground in relative darkness. With few means of artificial illumination at their disposal, seventeenth-century painters manipulated windows and shutters to control the fall of light in their studios. In the narrow row houses so typical of Dutch cities both in the seventeenth century and today, it was the voorhuis, or street-facing room, that enjoyed the best light. Martha Hollander has defined the voorhuis as “simultaneously public and private; it was a gateway to the deeper interior, the upstairs rooms, and the street.” Vermeer’s lute player, like most of his women, occupies this liminal space.
The artist heightened this liminality by focusing the lutenist’s gaze and the torsion of her body outward, toward the window and the street. The act of tuning her instrument and the viola da gamba on the floor have suggested to most commentators that this young woman anticipates a duet. But the scattered songbooks and nonchalant abandonment of the man’s instrument could equally suggest an encounter already completed. The woman may have her eyes on the back of a departing suitor, as her fingers restore the harmony that a recent performance has brought out of tune.
Art and Music: The musical scenes of Dutch art existed alongside a vibrant musical culture in daily life. Instrumental skill was an expected accomplishment of well-brought up young men and women. Within this culture of amateur performance, the lute occupied a privileged position as the vehicle of soloists and the instrument most often depicted in the visual arts. Lutes were themselves luxury items generally imported, at significant costs, from Italy or the German-speaking lands. The songbooks that the lutenist neglects in her reverie also held an important place in seventeenth-century Dutch culture. They ranged across a spectrum from cheap and disposable productions to luxurious creations of the finest artists and printmakers. Vermeer’s depiction of the songbooks in The Met's painting is not detailed enough to allow us to identify them with specific publications, but they do display the songbook’s typical oblong format, allowing multiple singers or instrumentalists to share the same score. Because of their association with duets and their frequently amorous content, songbooks often served as lovers’ gifts in seventeenth-century Holland. Even as they are ignored by Vermeer’s lutenist, the songbooks further serve to situate her in an atmosphere of erotic anticipation or recollection.
The Pearls, Carpet, and Map:Young Woman with a Lute falls within the category of Vermeer’s so-called “pearl pictures,” a term first coined by Lawrence Gowing. This designation refers most obviously to the prominent inclusion of pearl necklaces and earrings, but also to a pearlescent coloration more generally. In these works, Vermeer shifted toward a smoother surface and away from the almost pointillist application of dots of paint to capture the effect of light. Within the generally somber palette of the darkened and abraded Met picture, the pearls at the lutenist’s ear and throat stand out, further establishing her as the cynosure of the painting. The artist reinforced the pearls’ luminosity with the visual rhyme of the gleaming brass studs in the chair on the left.
Dutch seventeenth-century paintings very frequently include Islamic or East Asian textiles, reminders of the networks that linked cities like Delft to centers of trade around the world. One such signpost to the outer world is the carpet draping the table at which the lute player sits. The textile in Young Woman with a Lute is unfortunately difficult to identify, as this portion of the painting is highly abraded and discolored, distorting its original appearance. The remaining traces of dark blue pigment suggest a pattern of horizontal stripes, while the stiff draping has caused the carpet specialist Walter Denny to speculate that it may represent a Persian or Indian carpet. More easily identified is the map that dominates the background of the picture, first printed around 1613 by Jodocus Hondius and subsequently reissued in 1659 by Joan Blaeu. The map adds a cosmopolitan note to Vermeer’s domestic scene. Like the window at which his lutenist stares, it gestures toward the world waiting outside the confines of the house.
Afterlife: Attempts have been made to identify The Met's picture with inventory and auction records describing Vermeer paintings of young female musicians. But the work first surfaces with certainty in the historical record when the American railroad tycoon Collis P. Huntington acquired it on the Paris art market in the late nineteenth century for two thousand francs, subsequently bequeathing it to The Met upon his death in 1900. (The work was formally accessioned, however, only following the death of his widow in 1924.) Young Woman with a Lute provided a highlight of the 1909 Hudson-Fulton exhibition, held at The Met to commemorate the tricentennial of Henry Hudson’s navigation of the river that now bears his name. A critic who saw the painting then described it as “that pearl of price, a perfect work…of the most perfect painter that ever lived.”
Adam Eaker 2018
 For an introduction to Vermeer’s artistic development, see Walter Liedtke, “Vermeer Teaching Himself,” in The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer, ed. Wayne E. Franits, Cambridge, 2001, pp. 27–40.  Martha Hollander, An Entrance for the Eyes: Space and Meaning in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art, Berkeley, 2002, p. 184.  Marjorie E. Wieseman, Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure, London, 2013.  Jan W. J. Burgers, The Lute in the Dutch Golden Age: Musical Culture in the Netherlands, 1580–1670, Amsterdam, 2013.  Natascha Veldhorst, Zingend door het leven: Het Nederlandse liedboek in de Gouden Eeuw, Amsterdam, 2009.  Lawrence Gowing, Vermeer, 2nd ed., New York, 1972, pp. 42–44.  Personal communication to the author, August 28, 2016.  See Welu 1975, p. 535.  For the painting’s provenance, see Liedtke 2007.  See Cox 1910.
Inscription: Inscribed (on map): EUROPA
sale, Philippus van der Schley and Daniel du Pré, Roos, de Vries, Brondgeest, Amsterdam, December 22, 1817, no. 62, for fl. 65 to Coclers; private collection, England (sold for $6,000 to Huntington); Collis P. Huntington, New York (until d. 1900; life interest to his widow, Arabella D. Huntington, later [from 1913] Mrs. Henry E. Huntington, 1900–d. 1924; life interest to their son, Archer Milton Huntington, 1924–terminated in 1925)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Hudson-Fulton Celebration," September–November 1909, no. 135 (lent by Mrs. Collis P. Huntington, New York).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920, unnumbered cat. (p. 8, lent by Mrs. Henry E. Huntington).
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Diamond Jubilee Exhibition: Masterpieces of Painting," November 4, 1950–February 11, 1951, no. 42.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Painter's Light," October 5–November 10, 1971, no. 13.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," May 22–July 27, 1975, no. 24.
Moscow. State Pushkin Museum. "100 Paintings from the Metropolitan Museum," August 28–November 2, 1975, no. 24.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting," March 18–May 13, 1984, no. 117.
Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting," June 8–August 12, 1984, no. 117.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting," September 7–November 18, 1984, no. 117.
Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Rembrandt och Hans Tid," October 2, 1992–January 6, 1993, no. 128.
Athens. National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. "From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 13, 1992–April 11, 1993, no. 14.
Osaka Municipal Museum of Art. "The Public and the Private in the Age of Vermeer," April 4–July 2, 2000, no. 32.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vermeer and the Delft School," March 8–May 27, 2001, no. 72.
London. National Gallery. "Vermeer and the Delft School," June 20–September 16, 2001, no. 72.
Rotterdam. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. "Senses and Sins: Dutch Painters of Daily Life in the Seventeenth Century," October 23, 2004–January 9, 2005, no. 68.
Frankfurt. Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie. "Senses and Sins: Dutch Painters of Daily Life in the Seventeenth Century," February 10–May 1, 2005, no. 68.
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.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Vermeer and the Delft Style," August 2–December 14, 2008, no. 29.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Vermeer's Masterpiece 'The Milkmaid'," September 9–November 29, 2009, no. 8.
Pasadena. Norton Simon Museum. "Vermeer's 'Woman with a Lute' on Loan from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 8–September 26, 2011, no catalogue.
Rome. Scuderie del Quirinale. "Vermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese," September 27, 2012–January 20, 2013, no. 48.
Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Vermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre," February 22–May 22, 2017, no. 20.
Dublin. National Gallery of Ireland. "Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry," June 17–September 17, 2017, no. 20.
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry," October 22, 2017–January 21, 2018, no. 20.
Tokyo. Ueno Royal Museum. "Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art," October 5, 2018–February 3, 2019, no. 44.
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts. "Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art," February 16–May 12, 2019, no. 44.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making The Met, 1870–2020," August 29, 2020–January 3, 2021, unnumbered cat. (fig. 83).
LOAN OF THIS WORK IS RESTRICTED.
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. 34, no. 4, catalogues a painting of a young woman at the guitar, possibly this picture, sold in Amsterdam for fl. 70 on May 16, 1696.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1909, vol. 1, p. 136, no. 135, ill. opp. p. 136.
Byron P. Stephenson. "Great Dutch Artists." Evening Post (September 20, 1909) [reprinted in Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4 (October 1909), p. 172, ill. p. 168], as "Lady with Guitar".
Cornelis Hofstede de Groot. Jan Vermeer of Delft and Carel Fabritius. Amsterdam, 1909, 1st Supplement, pp. 5–7, no. 45, pl. 45, as "Young Woman Playing the Mandoline".
Joseph Breck. "L'art hollandais à l'exposition Hudson-Fulton à New York." L'art flamand & hollandais 13, no. 2 (1910), p. 57 [published in Dutch in Onze Kunst 17 (February 1910), p. 41], considers it a youthful work painted under the influence of Rembrandt's chiaroscuro.
Kenyon Cox. "Dutch Pictures in The Hudson-Fulton Exhibition—II." Burlington Magazine 16 (January 1910), p. 246, calls it "a perfect work in perfect condition".
Eduard Plietzsch. Vermeer van Delft. Leipzig, 1911, pp. 61, 118, no. 30, dates it to the latter half of the 1660s and groups it with works having amorous undertones.
William Bode. "More Spurious Pictures Abroad Than in America." New York Times (December 31, 1911), p. SM4.
Philip L. Hale. Jan Vermeer of Delft. Boston, 1913, pp. 178, 258–60, 373, ill. opp. p. 124, dates it from the same period as "Woman with a Pearl Necklace" (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin), "Young Woman Standing at a Virginal" (National Gallery, London), and "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" (MMA 89.15.16).
A[lbert]. E[ugene]. Gallatin. "Vermeer of Delft." American Magazine of Art 8 (August 1917), pp. 389–90.
"Pictures Lent for the Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (August 1920), p. 184.
P. Johansen. "Jan Vermeer de Delft." Oud-Holland 38 (1920), pp. 197–98, dates it perhaps to the period around 1665–67.
"The Museum's Fiftieth Anniversary: A Memorable Exhibition of Old Masterpieces." New York Tribune (May 9, 1920), p. 5, ill.
E. V. Lucas. Vermeer of Delft. London, [1922?], p. 37.
Wilhelm Hausenstein. Vermeer van Delft. Munich, 1924, p. 23, pl. 8.
Bryson Burroughs. "The Collis P. Huntington Collection Comes to the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (June 1925), p. 142, ill. p. 144.
H[arry]. B. Wehle. "Notes on Paintings in the Huntington Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (July 1925), p. 180, disagrees with Hale's contention [see Ref. 1913] that the compositional similarity between this painting and the "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" (MMA 89.15.16) indicates that they are close in date.
"Huntington Collection to MMA." New York Herald Tribune (May 25, 1925), p. ?, as purchased by Huntington for $6,000.
Gustave Vanzype. Vermeer de Delft. rev. ed. 1925, p. 87, pl. 39 [see Ref. Naumann 1984].
Jean Chantavoine. Ver Meer De Delft. Paris, 1926, pp. 36–37, 48, 76, 83, 100, dates it 1660s, calling the musician both a guitarist and a mandolinist.
Wilhelm R. Valentiner. "Zum 300. Geburtstag Jan Vermeers, Oktober 1932: Vermeer und die Meister der holländischen Genremalerei." Pantheon 10 (October 1932), p. 324, dates it around or after 1660, stating that during this period Vermeer began to paint subjects of a higher social level.
Philip L. Hale. Vermeer. Boston, 1937, pp. 113–15, pl. 12, states that it was possibly in the 1696 sale.
Eduard Plietzsch. Vermeer van Delft. Munich, 1939, pp. 30, 60, fig. 30.
A. B. de Vries. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Amsterdam, 1939, pp. 47–48, 88, no. 27, fig. 51, dates it about 1663–64.
Eduard Trautscholdt inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 34, Leipzig, 1940, pp. 268, 270.
"Notes on the Cover." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1 (October 1942), inside front cover, inside back cover, ill. inside front cover and color detail on cover.
Margaret Breuning. "Metropolitan Re-Installs Its Treasures in Attractive Settings." Art Digest 18 (June 1, 1944), p. 26.
André Blum. Vermeer et Thoré-Bürger. Geneva, 1945, p. 33, describes Thoré's attempt to date Vermeer's work according to hair styles, and places it in a middle group of paintings in which women wear their hair "à la chinoise".
Elizabeth E. Gardner. "Thoré's Sphinx." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7 (November 1948), p. 78, ill. p. 77.
A. B. de Vries. Jan Vermeer van Delft. London, 1948, pp. 40, 89, pl. 20, dates it about 1663–64, and says that while the colors and the subject's facial type resemble the "Lady Writing a Letter" (National Gallery of Art, Washington), it cannot be assumed that the same model is depicted.
P. T. A. Swillens. Johannes Vermeer, Painter of Delft, 1632–1675. Utrecht, 1950, pp. 31, 52, 67, 72, 79–81, 83–84, 87, pl. 6, as possibly the picture of "a person playing the cither" sold by Vermeer's widow in 1676 to the baker Hendrik van Buyten in settlement of a bill, with an arrangement to repurchase it; suggests also that it might be the work from the 1696 sale.
Lawrence Gowing. Vermeer. London, 1952, pp. 132–34, no. XVI, pl. 40, notes the strong tonal pattern, a new element in Vermeer's work, and describes the earlier theme of interrupted music making; calls it a ruin.
André Malraux. Vermeer de Delft. Paris, 1952, pp. 16, 68, 71, no. XV, ill. pp. 18 (detail) and 70 (color), places it slightly later than "Woman Holding a Balance" (National Gallery of Art, Washington) and "The Concert" (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston), in which similar floor tiles appear.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 99.
Vitale Bloch. Tutta la pittura di Vermeer di Delft. Milan, 1954, p. 34, pl. 52 [English ed., New York, 1963, p. 35, pl. 52], dates it about 1665.
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. 34, 53, pl. 31.
Ludwig Goldscheider. Jan Vermeer: The Paintings. London, 1958, pp. 5, 38, 137, no. 18, pl. 46 (before cleaning) and colorpl. 47 (detail), dates it about 1664; discusses the 1944 cleaning, noting that the removal of overpaint revealed a characteristic pearl earring.
A[lbert]. P. de Mirimonde. "Les sujets musicaux chez Vermeer de Delft." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 57 (January 1961), pp. 37–38, fig. 2, states that the instrument is definitely a lute, and that the girl tunes it and awaits a partner who will play the viol.
Lawrence Gowing. Johannes Vermeer. London, 1961, p. 22, no. 66, pl. 66.
Piero Bianconi inL'opera completa di Vermeer. Milan, 1967, p. 93, no. 27, ill. p. 92 and colorpls. XLV–XLVI (overall and detail) [English ed., 1970], dates it about 1663–64.
Horst Gerson inEncyclopedia of World Art. Vol. 14, New York, 1967, col. 743, dates it to the end of the 1660s, relating it stylistically to the "Astronomer" (Musée du Louvre, Paris) and the "Geographer" (Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt).
Hans Koningsberger. The World of Vermeer, 1632–1675. New York, 1967, pp. 137, 170, ill.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, pp. 172, 190 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
John Walsh Jr. The Painter's Light. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1971, p. 8, no. 13, dates it about 1664.
John Walsh Jr. "Vermeer." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (Summer 1973), unpaginated, fig. 46 (color), relates it to earlier paintings of female musicians with overt erotic significance.
Hubert von Sonnenburg. "Technical Comments." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (Summer 1973), unpaginated, figs. 89 (detail of overpainted state), 90 (color detail).
Everett Fahy inThe Wrightsman Collection. Vol. 5, Paintings, Drawings. [New York], 1973, p. 316, under no. 32, fig. 5 (detail), believes the same model appears in the "Study of a Young Woman" (MMA 1979.396.1) and the "Lady Writing a Letter" (National Gallery of Art, Washington).
Ernst Günther Grimme. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Cologne, 1974, pp. 77, 106, no. 26, ill. p. 107 and fig. 17, dates it about 1666 or later.
Albert Blankert, Rob Ruurs, and Willem L. van de Watering. Johannes Vermeer van Delft, 1632–1675. Utrecht, 1975, pp. 162, 166, no. B 1, pl. B 1 [English ed., "Vermeer of Delft," Oxford, 1978, pp. 77–78 nn. 61, 100, pp. 169, 171, no. B1, pl. B1]
, as by Vermeer, but poorly preserved; dates it 1662–65.
James A. Welu. "Vermeer: His Cartographic Sources." Art Bulletin 57 (December 1975), pp. 535–36, 541, fig. 7 [expanded in Ref. Welu 1977], identifies the map either as one that appeared around 1613 under the name of Dutch cartographer Jodocus Hondius, or the second state of the Hondius map, printed in 1659 by Joan Blaeu.
Christopher Wright. Vermeer. London, 1976, pp. 12, 48, 79, 84–85, pl. 22, rejects an identification with the work in the 1696 sale.
James A. Welu. "Vermeer and Cartography." PhD diss., Boston University, 1977, vol. 1, pp. 46–48, no. 3; vol. 2, fig. 63.
H[orst]. Gerson. "Recent Literature on Vermeer [review of Blankert et al. 1975]." Burlington Magazine 119 (April 1977), p. 289.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, p. 348.
Christopher Brown. Apollo 112 (July 1980), p. 66, ascribes it to Vermeer despite its poor condition, erroneously stating that Blankert rejects the attribution.
Leonard J. Slatkes. Vermeer and His Contemporaries. New York, 1981, p. 60, ill. p. 61 (color), dates it about 1662–65, and states that "there is no serious reason to remove this picture from the artist's list of authentic works".
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Jan Vermeer. New York, 1981, pp. 112, 161 n. 81, colorpl. 25, dates it about 1664.
Otto Naumann inMasters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1984, pp. 340–41, no. 117, ill. p. 340 and colorpl. 107, dates it mid-1660s.
Martin Pops. Vermeer: Consciousness and the Chamber of Being. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1984, pp. 55, 98, figs. 33–34 (overall and diagram).
Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, pp. 189–90.
Gilles Aillaud, Albert Blankert, and John Michael Montias. Vermeer. Paris, 1986, p. 167 n. 55, p. 170 n. 98, pp. 196, 199, 224, no. b1, colorpl. B2 [English ed., 1988, p. 166 n. 54, p. 169 n. 102, pp. 192, 195, 223, no. b1, colorpl. B1], as a problematic work; date it 1662–63 in the French edition and 1662–65 in the English edition.
Bärbel Hedinger. Karten in Bildern: Zur Ikonographie der Wandkarte in holländischen Interieurgemälden des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts. Hildesheim, 1986, pp. 99, 103–4, fig. 98.
John Michael Montias. "Vermeer's Clients and Patrons." Art Bulletin 69 (March 1987), p. 75.
Bärbel Hedinger. "Karten in Bildern. Zur politischen Ikonographie der Wandkarte bei Willem Buytewech und Jan Vermeer." Holländische Genremalerei im 17. Jahrhundert. Ed. Henning Bock and Thomas W. Gaehtgens. Berlin, 1987, p. 162, fig. 12 [same text published in Die Kunst (January 1987), p. 57, fig. 10].
Walter A. Liedtke. "Toward a History of Dutch Genre Painting II: The South Holland Tradition." The Age of Rembrandt: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting. Ed. Roland E. Fleischer and Susan Scott Munshower. [University Park, Pa.], 1988, p. 101, fig. 5-10, dates it about 1665.
John Michael Montias. Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History. Princeton, 1989, pp. 191, 217, 260, 265–66.
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, pp. 37, 40.
John Nash. Vermeer. London, 1991, pp. 22, 25–26, 78, 101, ill. pp. 23, 76 (color, overall and detail), as possibly one of three "heads" catalogued as nos. 38, 39, and 40 in the Amsterdam sale of 1696 [sic for MMA 1979.396.1?].
Deborah Krohn et al. inFrom El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1992, pp. 36–37, 307, no. 14, ill. (color) [catalogue section unpaginated].
Walter Liedtke. "Vermeer sin egen läromästare." Rembrandt och hans Tid: Människan i Centrum. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 1992, p. 102 [reprinted in Wayne E. Franits, ed., "The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer," Cambridge, 2001, p. 39].
Walter Liedtke inRembrandt och hans Tid: Människan i Centrum. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. Stockholm, 1992, pp. 316–18, no. 128, ill. (color).
Daniel Arasse. L'Ambition de Vermeer. Paris, 1993, pp. 129, 148, 189 n. 32, p. 192 nn. 2, 6 [English ed., "Vermeer, Faith in Painting," Princeton, 1994, pp. 50, 64, 115 n. 32, p. 118 nn. 2, 6.
Edward Snow. A Study of Vermeer. rev., enl. ed. Berkeley, 1994, p. 183 n. 16, p. 211 n. 11, pl. 69.
Sylvia Jäkel-Scheglmann. Zum Lobe der Frauen: Untersuchungen zum Bild der Frau in der niederländischen Genremalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts. Munich, 1994, p. 97, fig. 99.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Ben Broos inJohannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1995, p. 156, under no. 13.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. inJohannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1995, p. 25, fig. 13 (color).
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Vermeer & the Art of Painting. New Haven, 1995, pp. 149–50, fig. A18.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. Washington, 1995, p. 378.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 334, ill.
Kees Zandvliet inThe Scholarly World of Vermeer. Exh. cat.Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1996, p. 75, ill. p. 64 (color detail).
Erik Larsen. Jan Vermeer: Catalogo completo. Florence, 1996, pp. 33, 118, no. A6, ill., rejects the attribution to Vermeer; dates it about 1656–57.
Wayne Franits inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 32, New York, 1996, p. 260, as one of three works by Vermeer whose authorship is debated.
Edwin Buijsen inDutch Society in the Age of Vermeer. Ed. Donald Haks and Marie Christine van der Sman. Exh. cat., Haags Historisch Museum. The Hague, 1996, p. 123, lists it under works of uncertain attribution.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Vermeer: The Complete Works. New York, 1997, p. 40, colorpl. 18.
Nicola Costaras. "A Study of the Materials and Tecniques of Johannes Vermeer." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, pp. 147, 150, 165, 167.
Irene Netta. "The Phenomenon of Time in the Art of Vermeer." Vermeer Studies. Ed. Ivan Gaskell and Michiel Jonker. Washington, 1998, p. 262.
Jean Strouse. Morgan: American Financier. New York, 1999, pp. 563, 611 n.
Ivan Gaskell. Vermeer's Wager: Speculations on Art History, Theory and Art Museums. London, 2000, p. 177.
Walter Liedtke. A View of Delft: Vermeer and his Contemporaries. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 2000, pp. 69, 167–68, 226, 228, 232–33, 237, 260, 290 nn. 93, 96, fig. 288.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. inThe Public and the Private in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat., Osaka Municipal Museum of Art. London, 2000, pp. 12, 20, 45, 140, 174, 178, 180, 201, nos. 32 (exh. cat.) and 18 (Vermeer cat.), ill. pp. 32, 179, 181, 201, and fig. 17 (color; overall and details).
Walter Liedtke et al. Vermeer and the Delft School. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, pp. 149, 161, 381–83, no. 72, ill. (color), dates it about 1662–63.
Philip Steadman. Vermeer's Camera. Oxford, 2001, pp. 91–92, 106, 132–33, 168–69, 171–75, 189 n. 14, p. 192 n. 19, fig. 28 (diagram of window).
Christiane Hertel. "Seven Vermeers." The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer. Ed. Wayne E. Franits. Cambridge, 2001, pp. 141, 146, 149, 159–60, pl. 16.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Marguerite Glass. "The Appreciation of Vermeer in Twentieth-Century America." The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer. Ed. Wayne E. Franits. Cambridge, 2001, p. 168.
Anthony Bailey. Vermeer: A View of Delft. New York, 2001, pp. 115, 130, ill. p. 114.
Alejandro Vergara. Vermeer y el interior holandés. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2003, pp. 33, 174, 207, 254, under no. 36.
Peter C. Sutton inLove Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Greenwich, Conn., 2003, p. 183, fig. 3, under no. 38.
Robert D. Huerta. Giants of Delft: Johannes Vermeer and the Natural Philosophers . . . Lewisburg, Pa., 2003, pp. 47, 66, 82, 90, 92, 95, ill. p. 69.
Everhard Korthals Altes inSenses and Sins: Dutch Painters of Daily Life in the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Jeroen Giltaij. Exh. cat., Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2004, pp. 246–48, no. 68, ill. (color).
Robert D. Huerta. Vermeer and Plato: Painting the Ideal. Lewisburg, Pa., 2005, pp. 81, 98.
Katharine Baetjer inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 17–18, fig. 8 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 18, fig. 8].
Frank Wynne. I Was Vermeer: The Rise and Fall of the Twentieth Century's Greatest Forger. New York, 2006, pp. 245, 261, erroneously as no longer considered to be by Vermeer.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 18, 28–29, 68, 70–71, figs. 16 (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, 328, 458; vol. 2, pp. 629, 871, 884–87, no. 204, colorpl. 204.
Bert W. Meijer inVermeer: la ragazza alla spinetta e i pittori di Delft. Ed. Bert W. Meijer. Exh. cat., Foro Boario. Florence, 2007, pp. 59, 72 nn. 6, 12, fig. 7 (color).
Pierre Le Coz and Pierre-Éric Laroche. Vermeer ou l'action de voir. Brussels, 2007, pp. 57, 74, 91, 97, 99, ill. p. 98.
Peter C. Sutton. Vermeer and the Delft Style. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2008, pp. 65, 71–72, 180–83, no. 29, ill. (color, overall and detail), dates it about 1663–65.
Walter Liedtke. Vermeer: The Complete Paintings. Antwerp, 2008, pp. 17, 20, 32, 41, 43, 47, 99, 101–3, 113, 115–16, 118, 127, 170, 172, 174, 195, no. 14, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Walter Liedtke. "The Milkmaid" by Johannes Vermeer. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2009, pp. 13, 26, 32, 34, no. 8, colorpl. 8.
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), p. 26, ill. (color).
Nils Büttner. Vermeer. Munich, 2010, p. 84, fig. 31.
Marjorie E. Wieseman. Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence. Exh. cat., Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. New Haven, 2011, pp. 34, 42, 47, colorpl. 22.
Judith van Gent. Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk. [Zwolle, The Netherlands], 2011, p. 304, under no. 127.
Walter Liedtke inVermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale. Milan, 2012, p. 64.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. inVermeer: il secolo d'oro dell'arte olandese. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Milan, 2012, p. 21.
Mitchell A. Codding inSorolla and America. Ed. Blanca Pons-Sorolla and Mark A. Roglán. Exh. cat., Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University. Dallas, 2013, p. 55 [Spanish ed., "Sorolla y Estados Unidos," Madrid, 2014, p. 63].
Adriaan E. Waiboer inVermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2017, pp. 247–49, 422, no. 20, ill. pp. 242–43 (detail), 243, 245 (color).
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. inVermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2017, p. 218 n. 7.
Marjorie E. Wieseman inVermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2017, pp. 105, 239.
E. Melanie Gifford and Lisha Deming Glinsman inVermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2017, p. 138, fig. 66 (color detail).
E. Melanie Gifford, Lisha Deming Glinsman, and Samantha French inVermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2017, p. 436.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. inVermeer—Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art. Exh. cat., Ueno Royal Museum. [Tokyo], 2018, pp. 28–29, 168, under no. 46, ill. p. 16 (color, cropped).
Pieter Roelofs inVermeer—Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art. Exh. cat., Ueno Royal Museum. [Tokyo], 2018, pp. 32–33.
Adam Eaker inVermeer—Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art. Exh. cat., Ueno Royal Museum. [Tokyo], 2018, pp. 160–63, 195–96, no. 44, ill. (color, overall and details).
Gerdien Wuestman inVermeer—Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art. Exh. cat., Ueno Royal Museum. [Tokyo], 2018, p. 176, under no. 48.
"Works in the Exhibition." Making The Met, 1870–2020. Ed. Andrea Bayer and Laura D. Corey. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, p. 248.
Andrea Bayer, Barbara Drake Boehm, and Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide. "Princely Aspirations." Making The Met, 1870–2020. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, p. 83, fig. 83 (color).
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