Got to go see a preview of the new Vermeer and contemporaries exhibit at the National Gallery, getting as much time as I wanted without the crowds, so I walked through the exhibit rooms four times, absorbing new details each time. I ended up being most fascinated by three sets of details: the women’s faces, generally facing in the same direction, the hands that were beautifully rendered and often in use, and the dogs – there was a hound in one picture, but all the other dogs were brown and white spaniels.

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