VERMEER, Johannes
(b. 1632, Delft, d. 1675, Delft)

A Woman Asleep at Table (detail)

c. 1657
Oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

At the far end of the table is a young woman asleep, her head resting on her propped-up right arm and hand; the left one lies negligently flat. The lovely sleeping woman is drunk, as her untied collar, the disorder on the table, and the wine pitcher discreetly indicate. Vermeer, like Dutch artists before and after him, used a sleeping woman to moralize on the evils of drink.