Johannes Vermeer

The Milkmaid, ca. 1657-1660
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./ SK-A-2344
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Object information
Object category
canvas, oil paint
rectangle (portrait format) 45,5 x 41 cm
Current attribution
Johannes Vermeer
Exact or approximate dating of the described art work; the search parameters adopted for this art work in this database, are found in brackets.
c. 1657-1660 (1657 - 1660)
c. 1658-1660 (Wheelock 1997); c. 1657-1658 (Liedtke 2008); c. 1658-1659 (Franits 2015)
Artistically related
Artistically related to other work
Such as a preparatory studie, comparable composition, other version, or copy of the artwork in this record.
  • used as model for
    Gerard ter Borch (II), Interieur met een vrouw die appels schilt en een kind
    Ter Borch adopted the combination of yellow, green and blue colors. (Waiboer et al. 2017, p. 200)

  • related to
    Frans van Mieris (I), Jonge vrouw die parels aan het rijgen is
    The pointillé highlights in Van Mieris’s painting resemble those in Vermeer’s Milkmaid. (Liedtke 2008, p. 45-6)

  • used as model for
    Gabriel Metsu, Brieflezende vrouw en een dienstmeid in een interieur
    Metsu adopted the use of a sunlit corner of a room with a window on the left, the structured white plastered wall, and the color combination of red, yellow and blue. (Waiboer et al. 2017, p. 115)

  • used as model for
    Jan Steen, Boerenfamilie tijdens de maaltijd
    Steen repeated the blue, yellow and white in the dress of the female figure and even repeated the apron's pattern of pleats. He also adopted the setting in a kitchen, with the preparation of food as the main motif, as well as the earthenware vessel and the motif of a table with a still life of kitchen utensils and food. (as observed by E. Schavemaker)

  • inspired by
    Gerard Dou, Jonge vrouw, water puttend uit een bron
    Vermeer roughly repeated the pose of the maid. He adopted the use of a knee-length figure, the use of an earthenware vessel to suggest an erotic double entendre, and elements such as the table in the left foreground with a softly lit still-life of food. (Liedtke 2008, p. 76-78)

  • inspired by
    Gerard Dou, Jonge vrouw water gietend uit een kruik
    Vermeer adopted the subject of a girl pouring from a jug, her pose, the use of a single figure, the window as a light source on the left, the motif of a piece of glass missing from the window, and a finely lit still life of food and kitchenware in the foreground. (Waiboer et al. 2017, p. 206)

  • used as model for
    Jan Steen, Musicerende kinderen die een kat laten dansen
    Steen adopted the plain setting, the peculiar colour combination of yellow, blue and red, the meticulous attention for the irregularities in the surface structure of the stone wall in the back and the sensitively rendered still-life-like objects, the feature of depicting objects hanging against the wall and roughly the pose of the woman, especially her arms. (as observed by E. Schavemaker)

  • used as model for
    Caspar Netscher, Kantklossende vrouw in een interieur
    Netscher adopted the modest setting, the motif of a woman showing her as a silhouette starkly contrasted against the white plastered wall, the irregularities in the surface structure of this wall, the fine balance between the forms and the empty space, the fall of diffuse light coming from the left, the soft focus with which the artist observed his subject, the concentrated attitude of the woman and the stillness of the scene. (Wieseman 2002, p. 57)

  • used as model for
    Gabriel Metsu, Vrouw met een kind op schoot (Het zieke kind)
    Metsu adopted the modest setting, the irregularities in the surface structure of the wall, the motif of a woman slightly tilting forward her head relatively close to the picture plane, her gaze directed on something she holds in her hands, the palette (especially the use of white, yellow, blue and red for the dress of the figures), the use of a figure shown to the knee and the motif of a table with a simple of a still-life of an earthenware bowl in the left foreground. (Waiboer 2012, p. 129)

Exhibitions and literature
Visual documentation
Technical documentation
The RKD manages a collection of technical documentation that has been given to us by external researchers and museums or which stems from the RKD's own research with infrared reflectography. Documentation can be accessed by appointment at the RKD. While not all technical documentation has been entered in the database at present, new data is added on a regular basis.
Entered on: 1999-10-14; Last modification: 2018-10-31


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