For a long time the picture was considered a key work of contemplation. So it’s over: in the background of the room where a girl is reading a letter at the open window, the picture of a cupid has appeared. This was painted over for two hundred years.
Johannes Vermeer’s pictures are silent and discreet. They know how to keep a secret to themselves. This is not only due to this golden light, which covers everything like a veil and sets the colors in vibrations of the purest sensation. The master of the golden age, shrouded in mystery and only rediscovered in the 19th century, is regarded as the painter of intimacy: whether this is captured in the private domesticity of an interior or whether it is condensed as the inner life of the mind, of which the viewer gets a slight inkling.