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Study of a Young Woman

Study of a Young Woman is a painting by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, completed between 1665 and 1667, around the same time as his better-known Girl with a Pearl Earring. The two paintings are similar in tone, composition, and size. Both subjects wear pearl earrings, have scarves draped over their shoulders, and are shown in front of a plain black background. It is likely that the creation of both works involved the use of a camera obscura. The sitter is depicted as having a widely spaced and flat face, with a small nose and thin lips. Her lack of conventional beauty has led to a general belief that this work was painted on commission, although it is possible that the model was Vermeer's daughter. The work was probably created as a tronie rather than a portrait, being a study of the young woman's thoughts, feelings, or character, something typical in many of Vermeer's paintings. Study of a Young Woman is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Painting: Johannes Vermeer

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