The Love Letter (c.1666). Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632-1675). Oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Vermeer chose an unusual vantage point. From a dim space in the foreground, a glimpse is afforded of another room with a domestic scene. An elegantly dressed woman looks up expectantly at a maidservant, who has just handed her a letter. The painting of the sea, the lute (more specifically, a cittern), and removed slippers were symbols of love - often carnal love.