detail of woman detail of feet detail of book detail of crystal detail of snake detail of 

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St Praxedis Christ in the House of Martha and Mary Diana and Her Companions Procuress Woman Asleep Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window Little Street
Officer and Laughing Girl Milkmaid Glass of Wine Girl with Wineglass Girl Interrupted at Her Music View of Delft Music Lesson
Woman in Blue Woman Holding a Balance Young Woman with a Water Pitcher Woman with a Lute Woman with a Pearl Necklace A Lady Writing Girl with a Pearl Earring
Concert Girl with the Red Hat Art of Painting Mistress and Maid Portrait of Young Woman The Geographer The Astronomer
Lacemaker Guitar Player Love Letter Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid Allegory of Faith A Lady Standing at the Virginal Lady Seated at the Virginal

Vermeer's reasons for painting this allegory are not known. He may have executed it for the Jesuit Order in Delft or for a wealthy Catholic patron. He derived many of the theological concepts from descriptions of the allegorical figure of Faith in the 1644 Dutch edition of Cesare Ripa's Iconologia, a book particularly admired by the Jesuits. Vermeer however, amplified Ripa's comments by including objects from his own household, for example, the ebony crucifix and the gilt leather panel. Also listed in the inventory of his collection was a painting of the Crucifixion, which must be the work by Jacob Jordaens he has depicted hanging on the rear wall.

Excerpt taken from Vermeer: The Complete Works
by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr

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