However, if what the viewer was looking at was an accurate reflection of Vermeer’s circumstances, what family would possess such luxurious items and in such short supply? A family in collapse and methodically selling or having their effects repossessed. Who of influence and means would want such a scene staring their guests in the face? The whole thing is a buzz kill. I mean, it’s one thing to have a show of middle class existence as long as the chins on the women are multiplied, the babies well fed and the assorted flora and fauna succulent and gleaming. But Woman in Blue Reading a Letter has all the celebratory feel of an unwed mother imprisoned in a convent and reading a summons that her unborn child will become a ward of the state and the fallen woman will be lucky to get the position of scullery maid.