The Love Letter Vermeer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Johannes Vermeer's tender touch within this artwork seizes the attention of viewers for centuries upon his death.

The artwork was conceived by the artist in 1666 during the midst of his career as he found the foundation of his style and technique.

The Love Letter showcases a beautifully scenery that Vermeer commonly depicted within his work. A woman is seated on a wooden chair as she holds the musical instrument of a cittern. The woman is dressed within a bright yellow dress paired with a white fur collar and sleeves on the jacket on top.

This wealthy female figure has been displayed in the artist's previous work as within the Mistress and Maid. Within the painting the woman is seated on a chair near a table as she is handed a letter from her maid. Within The Love Letter the woman is handed a letter again from her maid in amazement.

The warm gesturer brings the viewer to wonder about the exact events that are occurring behind the love letter. Questions arise such as who wrote the letter to the woman or if she was awaiting the letter.

While Vermeer had most commonly illustrated his paintings in an open setting as depicted within The Love Letter, the artist had not used such an altered angle.

The viewer is looking at the scene through an open door way as it reveals what is occurring within. The floor is covered in a rich white and black marble checker pattern. The luxurious interior of the setting showcases the extravagant wealth of the woman. The walls are filled with renaissance paintings, alongside a red print behind the woman with swirling gold detail.

The maid to the left of the woman is dressed in a blue and green dress, paired with a white cloak that covers her head. At the onset of Vermeer's career, the artist had included an array of women who always covered their hair with the white cloak, however had altered to women not wearing them as the artist's work progressed.

A woven basket is located at the feet of the maid as if she was about to proceed to do laundry before she received a letter to be given to the woman in yellow.

Johannes Vermeer desired to paint artwork that illustrates the normal everyday life of the society during the mid 1660's. While it is evident that the artist favoured painting the life style of the rich upper class society of the Netherlands, the artwork still offers a glimpse of their lives to viewers today.

The artist continued to use his classic array of colours to manifest the shades of the interior within the painting. The colour scheme is based on warm whites, classic blacks, and bright colours such as the yellow dress to seize the attention of the viewer. The artist was incredibly masterful in showcasing his understanding of colour and form throughout his paintings.

Vermeer's brush stroke gently slides across the canvas generating a lively artwork for centuries. The position at which the viewpoint is based on, peering through the window enables the viewer to witness the extravagant artistry of Vermeer. The viewer feels as if they are peaking into the luxurious lifestyle of those during the 17th century.