Woman Holding a Balance (c. 1664) by Jan Vermeer

Woman Holding a Balance - Jan Vermeer - c. 1664

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Holding a Balance
ArtistJan Vermeer
Datec. 1664
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions40.3 x 35.6 cm (15 7/8 x 14 in.)
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

About Woman Holding a Balance

Considered one of the greatest genre paintings ever produced, Woman Holding A Balance was painted by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in c. 1664. Only around 35 authentic paintings were created by Vermeer during his lifetime, with this piece being among his finest works. In the painting, a woman is depicted as quiet and imperturbable while holding a balance which is empty.

There are various interpretations of the painting’s subject matter and symbolism. The woman’s pose and gaze suggest that she is either measuring or weighing something significant, potentially representing a judgment or decision being made. Furthermore, some scholars have suggested that the balance itself may represent divine justice or impartiality.

It is fascinating to note that Vermeer was elected headman of the Delft artists’ guild on several occasions during his career, indicating his reputation among fellow artists at that time. Moreover, it is interesting to observe that the painting was once known as Woman Weighing Gold due to some speculation about what she might be weighing in her balance. Last but not least, there are other details within this piece worth exploring such as how she is depicted as potentially pregnant and how her clothing may reflect her social status.

Overall, Jan Vermeer’s Woman Holding A Balance remains an enigmatic work of art from centuries ago that continues to fascinate viewers today with its subtle yet captivating composition and thought-provoking themes beneath it all.

Other Artwork from Jan Vermeer

More Artwork from Artchive

Scroll to Top