Johannes Vermeer Paints The Procuress
Signed at the lower right corner, in dark brown color: i v Meer.
1656 (ivM in ligature). The support is a hand-woven linen with a threat count of 14x12 per cm2 (warp/weft), a piece attached in the lower quarter. The original edges of the paint- and ground layers are preserved and prove that Vermeer had stretched the canvas onto a strainer. At all sites the original strainers are reconstructible and refer to the original straining in somewhat irregular distances of c. 60 to 120 mm.
This painting is the first known Vermeer.
A large format work 56.3 X 51.2" (143 X 130 cm). The subject, the decor and the cultural climate are perfectly exemplary of the Caravaggio school, in the tradition of raconteurs of ribald stories, prodigal sons and cheaters. One can see a young woman, whose firm curves are being groped by the putative client under the attentive eye of the assistant procuress. It Is obvious that what could be and is very often vulgar when rendered by certain painters of the Caravaggio schoool, is transcended here.