Man Writing a Letter c. 1662 - 1665 The subject of letter writing became increasingly popular in art starting in the 1650s through the masterful works of artists like Gerard ter Borch, Gabriel Metsu, Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer. The works of these artists will be featured in this Powerpoint with images of figures writing, dictating, receiving, sending, and reading letters.
Holland was the most literate country in Europe in the 17th century. At this time the notion that writing letters could convey private feelings and emotions, as opposed to issuing public proclamations or mere commercial information, captured the popular imagination and transformed written communications among individuals. Woman Reading a Letter c. 1662 - 1665
Woman Reading a Letter c. 1629 - 1684 Officers thoughtfully dictate to scribes or write themselves, while companion paintings feature images of ladies who are the glad recipients of these missives from the front. The introduction of pendants linking the sender and receiver of the letter was an invention that underscored the reciprocity and intimacy of letters.
An Officer dictating a Letter c. 1617 - 1681 The weary expressions of the standing trumpeter and even of the dog indicate that the dictating of the letter has become a time-consuming affair. The playing card (the ace of hearts) next to the dog's hind leg suggests that the letter is a love letter, rather than official military correspondence. The model for the young man in the centre was Caspar Netscher, who was ter Borch's pupil in about 1655. The picture dates from around this time.
A GIRL READING A LETTER BY AN OPEN WINDOW c. 1657-1659 Johannes Vermeer
WOMAN IN BLUE READING A LETTER c. 1662 - 1665 Johannes Vermeer
THE LOVE LETTER c. 1667 - 1670 Johannes Vermeer