…so that a city I had lived in all my life seemed a different place, so that a woman became beautiful with the light on her face.” ― Tracy Chevalier, “Girl With A Pearl Earring” (1999).
Image: The Milkmaid (Dutch: De Melkmeid or Het Melkmeisje), sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, is an oil-on-canvas painting of a “milkmaid”, in fact, a domestic kitchen maid, by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. c. 1657–1658 (though estimates differ)
Bill Bryson, in A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003) Chapter Twenty-Four:
“Leeuwenhoek was close friends with another Delft notable, the artist Jan Vermeer. In the mid-1600s Vermeer, who previously had been a competent but not outstanding artist, suddenly developed the mastery of light and perspective for which he has been celebrated ever since. Though it has never been proved, it has long been suspected that he used a camera obscura, a device for projecting images onto a flat surface through a lens. No such device was listed among Vermeer’s personal effects after his death, but it happens that the executor of Vermeer’s estate was none other than Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the most secretive lens-maker of his day.”