The Music Lesson

The Music Lesson
The Music Lesson
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Year 1662-1665
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 74.6 cm × 64.1 cm (29.4 in × 25.2 in)
Location Royal Collection, St. James's Palace, London

The Music Lesson or Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman by Johannes Vermeer, also known as Jan Vermeer, is a painting of young female pupil receiving the titular music lesson. It has been estimated to have been painted between 1662 and 1665. The medium of the work is oil on canvas. It measures 74.6 cm by 64.1 cm.



The Music Lesson has been part of the Royal Collection of Great Britain since the reign of King George III. However, when the piece was acquired it was believed to be a work by Frans van Mieris the elder because of a misinterpretation of the signature. The painting wasn't correctly attributed to Vermeer until 1866 by Théophile Thoré.[1] It's said that George III didn't even intend to buy The Music Lesson, but the work was part of a lot being sold by Consul Joseph Smith which included books the king wanted, so the monarch had to take the picture, too.[2] The picture was sold in May 1696 in Delft, part of the collection of Jacob Dissous, which included a score of Vermeers. It was later acquired by Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini in 1718, with Pellegrini’s collection later being bought by Smith.[3]

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