Paintings Acquired from Vermeer During or Soon after the Artist's Death

Cornelezoon de Helt - "painting in a black frame"

The Music Lesson (detail), Johannes Vermeer
The Music Lesson (detail)
Johannes Vermeer
c. 1662–1665
Oil on canvas, 73.3 x 64.5 cm.
The Royal Collection, The Windsor Castle

Little can be deduced from the meager description of the "painting in a black frame" by Vermeer. Vermeer, like many other Dutch painters, used black (ebony or ebonized) frames a few of which hang on the back walls in his own compositions. Ebony frames were also used for mirrors. Dutch frame-makers were known for their ability to imitate costly exotic woods. Incidentally, the husband of Vermeer's sister was a framemaker.