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The Procuress by Johannes Vermeer

    The Procuress by Johannes Vermeer

    The Procuress by Johannes Vermeer was created in 1656. The painting is in Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden. The size of the work is 143 x 130 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.

    It is his first genre painting and shows a scene of contemporary life, an image of mercenary love perhaps in a brothel. It differs from his earlier biblical and mythological scenes. It is one of only three paintings Vermeer signed and dated. In 1696 the painting, being sold on an auction in Amsterdam, was named “A merry company in a room”.

    The woman in black, the leering coupler, “in a nun’s costume”,  could be the eponymous procuress, while the man to her right, “wearing a black beret and a doublet with slashed sleeves”,  has been identified as a self portrait of the artist. There is a resemblance with the painter in Vermeer’s The Art of Painting. Vermeer is in the painting as a musician, in the employ of the madam. Read more in Wikipedia

    About the Artist: Dutch Baroque Period painter Johannes Vermeer specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. It is unclear where and with whom Vermeer apprenticed as a painter. There is some speculation that Carel Fabritius may have been his teacher. On 29 December 1653, Vermeer became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke, a trade association for painters. The guild’s records make clear that Vermeer did not pay the usual admission fee. It was a year of plague, war, and economic crisis; Vermeer was not alone in experiencing difficult financial circumstances… Read more

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