(Staande Virginaalspeelster )

c. 1670-1673
oil on canvas
20 3/8 x 17 1/4 in. (51.7 x 45.2 cm.)
National Gallery, London

an interactive analysis *
scroll your cursor over the 14 hot areas of the painting or the 4 special topics of interest below
(browsers: IE 4+, NS 4+)

virginals music for the time of Vermeer

Almande De Symmerman very likely Almande The Carpenter (anon.) from The Susanne van Soldt Manuscript (1599)

Malle Symen "Silly Simon"
(Jan Pzn. Sweelinck) from The Leningrad Manuscript (1646)

Courante Daphne The popular melody 'Daphne' as a French 'Courante' dance (anon.) also from The Leningrad Manuscript (1646)

* all three music files were kindly selected and performed for the Essential Vermeer website by Joop Klaassen, contributor to the Stichting Clavecimbel Genootschap Nederland.

The virginals are a kind of harpsichord. Mr Klaassen's Muselaer virginals were built by Louis van Emmerik, after the Ruckers virginals of 1611 in 'Het Vleeshuis,' a museum in Antwerp, Belgium. The muselaer virginals have the keyboard on the right, and they have a richer sound than the spinet virginals, which have the keyboard on the left. The virginals in Vermeer paintings are of the muselaer type.

Otto van Veen, "Only One."
illustration from Amorum Emblemata
published Antwerp, 1603
For more information on Vermeer and the virginals, click here.