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The Milkmaid [c. 1658-60], Oil by Jan Vermeer (1632-1675, Dutch Republic)
The Milkmaid, sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, is an oil-on-canvas painting. It is housed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which esteems it as "unquestionably one of the museum's finest attractions". The painting shows a housemaid in a plain room carefully pouring milk into a squat earthenware container (Dutch oven) on a table. Also on the table are various types of bread. She is a young, sturdily built woman wearing a crisp linen cap, a blue apron and work sleeves pushed up from thick forearms. A foot warmer is on the floor behind her, near Delft wall tiles depicting Cupid (to the viewer's left) and a figure with a pole (to the right). Intense light streams from the window on the left side of the canvas. This painting has "perhaps, the most brilliant color scheme of his oeuvre", according to the Essential Vermeer website.