Vermeer’s Mistress and Maid

USD $24.95



ISBN: 978-1-911282-37-2

64 Pages

235 x 190 mm (7 ½ x 9 ¼ in)

28 colour illustrations

In association with The Frick Collection, New York

December 2018


“Ivory creates a masterful, romantic filmic vignette that suits our present time, where we are free to welcome fiction as reality.”—Barbara A. MacAdam, Vasari Diary, ARTnews

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The subject of writing and receiving letters, which recurs frequently in the work of Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675), is given dramatic tension in this masterful painting of two women in a mysterious moment of crisis. The artist seldom, if ever, surpassed the subtly varied effects of light seen here as it gleams from the pearl jewellery, sparkles from the glass and silver objects on the table, and falls softly over the figures in their shadowy setting.

This is the second volume in the new Frick Diptych series. Designed to foster critical engagement and interest the specialist and non-specialist alike, each book in this series illuminates a single work in the Frick’s rich collection with an essay by a Frick curator paired with a contribution from a contemporary artist or writer.,

Author biographies

Margaret Iacono is associate research curator at The Frick Collection

James Ivory is an Oscar-winning screenwriter, most recently for Call Me By Your Name,  and renowned filmmaker best known for making several acclaimed and award-winning films with Ismail Merchant

Table of Contents

  1. Director’s Foreword
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Two Letters on a Day in the Mid-1660s by James Ivory
  4. Vermeer’s Mistress and Maid by Margaret Iacono
  5. Bibliography
  6. Index
  7. Photography Credits