[The Letter]

Object Details

Title:

[The Letter]

Artist/Maker(s):

Guido Rey (Italian, 1861 - 1935)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

1908

Medium:

Platinum print

Dimensions:

21.9 x 17 cm (8 5/8 x 6 11/16 in.)

See more

See less

A deliberate homage to an earlier artistic style that Guido Rey admired, the composition derives from a painting made by Dutch artist Jan Vermeer in the 1600s. In this posed scene, a young suitor bearing flowers approaches a woman seated at her writing desk, with her pen poised in mid-air as she turns to greet him. A leaded glass window opens into her room, providing a natural light source for the photograph's illumination. The mounted corner clock, decorative jar on the desk, and painting on the wall were Rey's everyday household items or objects borrowed from friends, carefully chosen for period accuracy. Likewise, a seamstress who lived in the attic of Rey's home in Turin created the costumes to his specifications.

Exhibitions
Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA, (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995, (Cat.)
Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre (June 16, 2006 to September 3, 2007)
  • National Gallery of Canada, (Ottawa), June 16 to October 1, 2006, (Cat. 33)
In Focus: Making a Scene (June 30 to October 18, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 30 to October 18, 2009, (Cat.)