Harvard Art Museum Crossing Lines - Sep 5 - Jan 5

A Painted-Over Cupid Will Reappear in a Beloved Vermeer Work

  • May 08, 2019 15:33

  • Email
Vermeer, Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, 1657–59, after partial restoration. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. © SKD. Photo by Wolfgang Kreische.

One of Johannes Vermeer’s most famous paintings had a whimsical element long-ago painted over, and not by the Dutch master himself.

Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window originally included a naked cupid hovering above the female subject. Detected by X-ray four decades ago, the cupid has recently been established in tests to have been painted over much later by another hand, and not by the artist as once thought. 

The overpainting took place well after the artist’s death in 1675, according to restorers at Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in Germany. Now, the painting will be fully restored (in about a year) and the cupid revealed.

A hovering cupid signifies that Vermeer intended for the painting to depict a woman reading a love letter.

Read more at The Times

Tags: old masters

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Maurizio Cattelan, America.

Maurizio Cattelan's Gold Toilet Artwork 'America' Is Stolen From Blenheim Palace Exhibit

  • NBC / September 14th, 2019

On Saturday morning, the interactive artwork that is an 18-karat solid gold toilet titled America -- part of ...

Read More...
An artwork recovered by the LAPD

After Auctioneer's Tip, Los Angeles Police Seek Owners of Art Trove Stolen in the '90s

  • Los Angeles Times / September 4th, 2019

A Southern California auctioneer alerted police when stolen items were brought in for valuation this summer. The ...

Read More...
Pediment of the Parthenon on the Acropolis, in Athens.  Some pediment sculptures are housed in the nearby Acropolis Museum, while the most prized pieces are in the British Museum.

After France Agrees to Artifact Exchange, Greece Drafts Loan Proposal for British Museum's Parthenon Marbles

  • Ta Nea / September 3rd, 2019

On Tuesday, Greece's Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said her ministry is preparing a draft proposal for a ...

Read More...
Banksy's 2017 mural (detail) in Dover, UK, has been removed.

Banksy Brexit-Themed Mural Disappears From UK Wall

  • BBC / August 27th, 2019

A famous mural created by street artist Banksy in 2017 mysteriously was removed from a building in seaside Dover, UK, ...

Read More...

ARTFIXdaily Artwire