Jan Vermeer is an artist from the Netherlands, a master of genre portraiture and household painting. Almost nothing is known about his life, most of his biography is based on assumptions. Despite this, he is judged by the paintings and is called one of the great masters of the golden age of Dutch art.
He had no disciples; he had a family and paints. In the paintings, he depicted the life that he saw around him.
The Girl Reading the Letter by the Open Window is full of details. The table is covered with a blanket in picturesque folds. The window is taken away by a decorative lattice with a simple pattern. A faint light falls into the room - a cloudy day, spring or summer - the red curtain is thrown to the side, fruits are scattered on the table. A girl - young, hardly older than twenty - with a complex hairstyle, reads a letter, bringing it to the light.
Her face is concentrated and a little sad, as if in a letter something was written that upsets her. Perhaps the beloved will not be able to go on a date. Or he got sick and she worries about him. It remains only to speculate, but the picture itself breathes peace and light sorrow.
However, on the symbolic side, apples and peaches falling out of the bowl signify the fall of Adam and Eve, and an open window indicates the desire to break free, change, and gain freedom. Perhaps the girl is not really sad, but decides whether to escape with her beloved, or to leave home with him. Or is it all easier and you just want to lie with him somewhere in tall grasses, escaping from the care of your parents.
The fact that the letter came precisely from the beloved, and not from the parents or girlfriend, is also evidenced by the fact that behind the curtain in the early version there was a cupid, which was then dragged and hidden by the artist. However, the main message from this has not changed. Love is eternal and oceans of passions can sometimes hide behind human faces.
A girl reads a letter by the window. And about whom she reads, we can only guess.
Alexander Ivanov Pictures