Soldier and a Laughing Girl (c. 1658) by Jan Vermeer

Soldier and a Laughing Girl - Jan Vermeer - c.1657

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Artwork Information

TitleSoldier and a Laughing Girl
ArtistJan Vermeer
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions46 x 50.5 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationFrick Collection, New York City, NY, US
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About Soldier and a Laughing Girl

Jan Vermeer’s Soldier and a Laughing Girl, created circa 1658, is an oil painting on canvas that depicts a girl in a yellow dress seated at a table with a man wearing a large hat. The artwork measures the size of not specified dimensions. It is also referred to as Officer and Laughing Girl, Officer and a Laughing Girl, Officer With a Laughing Girl, or De Soldaat en het Lachende Meisje. This classic artwork portrays the Dutch theme of courtship where women are depicted as entertainers for their suitors.

Vermeer uses sunlight to highlight the girl’s expression and create specular highlights that add depth to the artwork. The artist focuses on light-filled space that adds dimension to the scene with elements like shadows around objects in the room. A window in this painting serves as an essential element of Vermeer’s style by allowing natural light into space that further brightens it up.

The use of color is minimal but significant. The girl’s yellow dress is carefully painted with details visible even from afar. In contrast, dark colors surround her suitor played by every detail added in his uniform seen below his enormous hat covering part of his face – this adds mystery around him.

Soldier and A Laughing Girl has been attributed to Pieter de Hooch before being identified as one of Jan Vermeer’s paintings sold at an Amsterdam auction in 1696AD after which it was later purchased by Henry Clay Frick for his extensive art collection now held at The Frick Collection located in New York City, US.

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