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.,
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