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Johannes Vermeer (Delft 1632-Delft 1675)

Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman early 1660s

Oil on canvas | 74.1 x 64.6 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405346

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We interrupt a musical couple, unnoticed; he continues to sing and she to accompany him on the virginals. The perspective is so accurately recorded that we are almost disturbed by the unfavourable ratio of action to floor, wall and empty space. The point is that floors, walls and empty spaces are beautiful in themselves, especially when suffused with natural daylight.

Acquired by George III in 1762 as part of the collection of Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice