The Guardian

Guess the painting by Laura Cumming

This week’s question: Who painted this flower (above)? Answer next Sunday.

Last week’s detail (below) showed a tendril of the eponymous Lacemaker’s hair, painted by Johannes Vermeer in Delft around 1669. It is the most exquisite curlicue of fine hairs, delicate as whatever she is making with her bobbins and threads. Vermeer more often shows women pausing, than actually working, in his art. But the marvellous Lacemaker, from the Louvre, bends over her intricate task with immense absorption and care. Still, time is held in profound abeyance in this scene, smallest of all Vermeer’s paintings, and this feels far more significant than the creation of any length of lace.