OIL PAINTING: Officer and Laughing Girl, 1660
The nearest foreground of Officer and Laughing Girl - the soldier on his chair and the dark-green part of the table cover - are so strongly enhanced that the use of an optical instrument by Vermeer for the structuring of the composition seems indisputable. We have here the typical effect of the inverted telescope: the foreground standing out in the manner of stage scenery, while the figure of the girl recedes into space. On the back of the wall, we find for the first time a map. This element of decoration reappears frequently in the Vermeer paintings.