Lightening | 260MC

We had a task to recreate a picture we were given.


Girl reading a Letter at an Open Window is a painting finished in 1657 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

On the first look to this painting, you can see a young girl reading a letter. Light through the window touches her faces and leaves the reflection of her face in the window.

  • According to Alejandro Vergara, “the reflection of the girl in the window emphasises the importance of the letter, which becomes the psychological axis of the painting”.
  • Her thoughts are totally absorbed in the letter.
  • The inner nature of her thoughts is reflected on her face.
Also, we know that Johannes Vermeer  Cupid and then hid it with the curtains
  • Thanks to X-rays images we know that Cupid was at the back.
  • The presence of Cupid tells us that the letter the girl is reading is a love letter.
  • Theories have stated that the painting was removed because we will just focus on the painting and not on the whole scene.

Also, you can see a bowl of apples and in this case:

  • The bowl of fruits on the bed proves that this is an extramarital love relationship: the bowl contains apples and peaches what remind us Eve’s sin.

There are nor so many painters that achieve this kind of intimacy. You can see a girl reading a letter, alone in a room, with the outside world in front of her eyes, and she just focuses her attention in the letter, in what is written there. She is indifferent to the rest of the world, and the stillness she shows I think is quite amazing. She seems as rejecting the world, the room, the house, even herself. She just reads a letter. A letter that maybe she has been expecting long time ago.

The reflection of the girl in the window emphasises the importance of the letter, which becomes the psychological axis of the painting. As in other works by Vermeer, the chair acts to clarify the spatial relations between the elements in the room, in this case the table and the end wall. The open window which reflects the girl’s face projects a slight shadow on the wall, echoing its shape and also helping to define the location of the girl’s face.

My idea is to re-create the story of the painting. Apples symbolise betrayal, we know that the “cupid” is hidden behind the curtains. I think cupid symbolise ” hidden” love.  So clearly the story is about love.

The story-line:

The girl is having a passionate moment with her paramour, she hears someone knocking the door. Her lover hides him under the bed and the when husband comes back woman acts like nothing happened. Next morning, when she wakes up she finds a bowl of apples and a letter from her husband.


day 1: Week before, we were searching for the locations, because in our picture girl was standing next to the open window which opens inwards. We couldn’t find a window like that.  Then we decided to set up the room by ourselves.  We went to “the dome” in ET building. I found a small closet with glass doors so we decided to use it for the “window”. Also, we worked on a script a bit, booked cameras, tripods, lights.

day 2: On the day two we did a rehearsal, just without actors. We played with the lights, also worked on the image. We did a detailed script for actors, decided which lights and lenses we want to use in our movie. On the day 2, one of the actors said that he can’t do it on filming day so we had to search for another one and we found it.  Also, we found a curtain, after that we went to the theatre and found costumes for our film

day 3: On the filming day I was feeling very stressful because one of the actors was late and  also we decided to change the lights. I wanted the main picture to be more natural lights, and my group friends wanted more harsh lighting. After we found a compromise, actor came and we started filming, We were filming with CANON 5D camera, and we did a small experiment. Our more is shot in “Portrait” position, it was the first time when we did that, but I think it worked perfectly.

Process :


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