The Dutch artist Jan Vermeer painted “The Love Letter” around 1670 but the mood is timeless and so appropriate for Valentine’s Day….capturing that glorious moment of surrender to the magic of loving and being loved….
The subject of this painting is love. This is evident in the presence of musical references (the instrument held by the woman and the musical score on the chair in the foreground) which were commonly used as a metaphor for harmony between two people and the letter which the young woman holds, undoubtedly from a loved one whom she speaks of with the servant. The painters of interior scenes often included paintings within paintings to clarify the meaning of the composition. In this case the paintings on the end wall, a landscape with a man and woman and a seascape, undoubtedly refer to the absence of the loved one….
Across 350 years we are in that house. We see their faces and we can almost hear their voices.
That is the power of art….
That is the power of love….