With his depiction of the painter in his studio, Vermeer turns this genre painting into an allegory of the art of painting. His model is posing as Clio, the Muse of history, who inspires the painter and proclaims the glory of painting in the old Netherlands, which she has immortalised in the book of history. The unity of the arts is reflected in the sculpture model, sketchbook and the work in progress on the easel. The map with the 17 provinces of the Netherlands before they were divided into north and south is a reference to a land that had always owed its fame to the art of painting.
120 x 100 cm, Framed: 152,5 x 133,5 x 10,5 cm
Marked on the lower border strip of the map: I Ver-Meer
Bez. auf dem oberen Einfassungstreifen der Landkarte: NOVA XVII PROV[IN]CIARUM [GERMAINIAE INF]ERI[O]RIS DESCRIPTIO / ET ACCURATA EARUNDEM ... DE NO[VO] EM[EN]D[ATA] ... REC[TISS]IME EDIT[A P]ER NICOLAUM PISCATOREM
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Coll. Catharina Bolnes (Vermeer's widow); 1676 given to her mother, Maria Thins; auction Delft 15.3.1677; estate Gottfried van Swieten, Vienna; 1813 Rudolf Count Czernin; Count Czernin's Gallery, Vienna; 1940 Adolf Hitler; 1945 Collecting Point Munich; handed over to the Kunsthistorisches Museum on 7.11.1946; added to the collection in 1958
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