For over 250 years, Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window (circa 1659) has resided quietly at the Dresden Gemäldegalerie, where it attracts viewers from all over the world. The solitary young woman reads intently in front of a window, an ochre wall in the background. It turns out, however, that the painting has been keeping a secret. Previous X-ray examinations discovered a concealed depiction of Cupid on that ochre wall. But was it painted over by Vermeer, or later on by someone else? In 2019, with new laboratory testing, experts determined that the paint-over was not done by Vermeer. The work has now been restored to its original state, and this exhibition in Tokyo unveils the new “painting within a painting.” It also includes 70 other Golden Age masterpieces from the Gemäldegalerie. —E.C.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Japan, 〒110-0007 Tokyo, Taito City, Uenokoen, 8−36 東京都美術館 Get Directions »