OIL PAINTING: The Concert, 1665-1666
The Concert superficially resembles A Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman (Buckingham Palace, London) in that it features the making of music in a domestic environment. But there the likeness stops. The Lady at the Virginals was very rigidly constructed, pruned to the point of abstraction, and allowing the viewer only a glance from afar upon the principal scene. In the Concert by Vermeer, we are again part of the happening, although separated from it by the table covered with the familiar red Oriental rug and the bass viol on the floor.