The Love Let­ter by Ver­meer

Country Life Every Week - - My Favourite Painting - Michaelchance

Singing El­iz­a­bethan lute songs around the world has been a thor­oughly en­joy­able part of my per­form­ing life. They are in­tense pri­vate ex­pres­sions of pas­sion, full of wit and de­li­cious con­ceits. I love how the lutenist in this en­gross­ing paint­ing leaves her left hand still in cor­rect po­si­tion while look­ing up, a lit­tle star­tled, as the maid gives her the let­ter. The con­tents are likely to match both the in­ti­macy of the scene on which Ver­meer in­vites us se­cretly to eaves­drop and the essence of the mu­sic so re­cently in­ter­rupted. This is a whole op­er­atic scene, full of drama and beauty, cry­ing out for en­act­ment at The Grange

Michael Chance is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned coun­tertenor and teacher and the Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of The Grange Fes­ti­val, which opens its first sea­son to­day

The Love Let­ter, 1669–70, by Jo­hannes Ver­meer (1632–75), 18¼in by 15¾in, Ri­jksmu­seum, Am­s­ter­dam, The Nether­lands

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