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Restoration of Vermeer Painting in Germany Reveals Hidden Image of Cupid

Two years ago, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in Germany launched a major restoration to make visible a Cupid buried beneath layers of paint in Johannes Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window (ca. 1657). The museum has since removed the overpainting from the famed work, which now shows an image of Cupid hanging on the wall behind the forlorn young woman.

Scholars believe that the newly revealed picture is meant to indicate that the woman is reading a love letter. Now, the public will get a chance to test that theory. The restored canvas will be on view to the public for the first time this September, at the museum’s painting gallery, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.