by Jan Vermeer van Delft, 1665

Frick Collection, New York

head shoulder hem

This is part of a larger painting that depicts the mistress talking to her maid. As the lady is able to afford not only servants, but also colourful fabric (maybe silk), pearls and ermine fur, she is clearly a member of the upper class. The bright yellow jacket is similar to the one in Terborch's "Glass of Lemonade" and re-appears in a number of Vermeer paintings.

Jan Vermeer aka Vermeer van Delft:
* 10/1632 Delft
# 15/12/1675 Delft
Not much is known of Vermeer's life. Even his works have been dated only by differences of style. He is known for is interiors peopled by commoners of both upper and lower class. As he did not portray people for their own sake - they are all anonymous - and used colours as part of the mood and composition, his selection of colours should not be taken at face value. The fact that certain items of clothing re-appear throughout his work suggests that the people didn't really waer them, at least not outside his study. However, he was also a realist, so at least the shape of the garments can be trusted - see the visible bulges created by the stitches on the hem of the lady's jacket.