I have long been mesmerised by the dramatic compositional power of the drawn back drape that reveals the tranquil scene of the artist at work painting his model. Johannes Vermeer's work has a rare, indefinable otherness that really became apparent after I viewed the small collection of his work at the Queen's Cabinet of Paintings in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
I wasn't sure what I hoped to achieve when I set out recreating this enchanting work but it became apparent when scaling the models and testing the lighting that the belief Vermeer availed himself of a camera obscura to compose the perspective and tonality of his paintings is quite plausible. Vermeer's familiarity with the science of optics is unsurprising, the Netherlands during this period explored any knowledge which could enrich the country and this included cartography. The artist had placed a map in the background of The Art of Painting and I have updated it for our age by inserting a land use satellite map of the same region of the Netherlands.