The painting, Woman with a Lute, is a glimpse into the thought provoking work of the artist.
The painting was created in 1663 near the beginning of the artist's career as he depicted natural scenes of his every day life and the upper class society in Netherlands.
The painting illustrates a young woman seated at a table playing a lute as she looks out of her window. The woman is dressed in a classic dress at the time that is based a light beige colour with white ruffles. It is incredibly common that the fashion at the time is paired with white to accentuate whatever the individuals were wearing.
Vermeer commonly used the same model throughout his work that is believed to have been his wife. This woman has light blonde hair that is commonly tied up with lush gold curls spewing out of the side.
She is present within Vermeer's paintings such as Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, Officer and Girl laughing, and Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. Vermeer was captivated by the muse's features as an array of his work includes the young woman.
The artist is well known for painting an array of woman and girls throughout his work as he is seized by their sharp features and the welcoming presence they add to the artwork.
The young woman is seated against a chair as she looks out of her window. Vermeer often used a window on the left side of his paintings to illustrate a source of light that would illuminate the figured on the right side. The light from the window gently lightens the girls face as she is captivated by the figures located outside.
She is engulfed within her own artistry while she ponders the events that are occurring within the work. Vermeer's relation to music is also often referred to love as it was commonly associated with love at the time. The position of the woman starring out of the window suggests that she is playing a song to her lover who is somewhere out traveling as she longs his arrival.
This beautiful feel behind the work allows the viewers to relate to the piece and ponder their own feelings and relationships.
Based on the setting, it seems that the painting is based in the same room as the one in Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. Both settings have the blue map of Netherlands illustrated on the wall, and the same model. It is unknown whether Vermeer had his muses pose while he painted the portraits or if they are based on his memory.
Vermeer based the colour scheme of the artwork on his classic monotone colours of beige, black, soft blues and cream. These colours fill the canvas creating a calm feel as most artwork during the Baroque Era did, naturally excluding the aggression of Caravaggio in the likes of David with the Head of Goliath and John the Baptist. The artist used a light wooden colour to paint the lute, which adds a glimpse of colour throughout the work. The artist is well known for adding a pop of colour to bring attention to a focal point within the artwork.
Johannes Vermeer's masterful technique and understanding of colour has granted the artist to be known as one of the most captivating artists during the Renaissance Era in Europe, alongside fellow-Dutchmen like Bruegel and Bosch. Vermeer was a forgotten artist who's work has recently grasped an audience around the world.