The Love Letter, Johannes Vermeer, c. 1669 - c. 1670
Vermeer chose an unusual vantage point for this painting. From a dim space in the foreground, a glimpse is afforded of another room with a domestic scene. An elegantly dressed woman looks up expectantly at a maidservant, who has just handed her a letter. The seascape on the wall behind them may well allude to the epistle’s subject: during the 17th century, the sea was often compared to love, and the lover to a ship.