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© The Frick Collection
Johannes Vermeer  (1632 - 1675)
Officer and Laughing Girl, c. 1657
oil on canvas (lined)
Overall: 19 7/8 x 18 1/8 in. (50.5 x 46 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Accession number: 1911.1.127
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South Hall (141)
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Commentary: In what may be one of the first works of his mature style, Vermeer transforms the theme of a girl entertaining her suitor, already popular in Dutch art, into a dazzling study of light-filled space. The dark foil of the officer’s silhouette dramatizes both the illusion of depth and the brilliant play of light over the woman and the furnishings of the chamber. The map of Holland on the far wall, oriented with west at the top, was first published in 1621. Both the map and the chairs appear in other paintings by Vermeer.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.
Collections: Vermeer sale, May 16, 1696, Amsterdam, Lot 11, sold for 44 ½ florins. Léopold Double, bought, apparently as a de Hoogh, for 235 guineas in an unidentified London sale. Double sale, May 30, 1881, Paris, Lot 16, sold for 8,800 francs to Prince Demidoff di San Donato, Villa di Pratolino, near Florence. Mrs. Samuel Joseph, London. Knoedler. Frick, 1911.

Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: American, British, Dutch, Flemish and German. Volume I. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.