What’s the significance of the discovery of a naked Cupid in a 350-year-old painting by Vermeer? After years of study, the hidden figure was revealed in the "Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window" painting, housed at the Dresden Gemäldegalerie. It was a sensational find.
The film traces the many twists and turns that this picture has experienced in its history. The justification for re-exhibiting the painting in its new form is a sensation: the Cupid was apparently painted over after the artist’s death.
The enigmatic paintings of Jan Vermeer have fascinated art lovers for centuries. His oeuvre has been one of the most difficult for experts to conclusively decipher and has frequently been the subject of controversial discussions on a global level. Now, a gallery in the German city of Dresden has assembled the world’s top Vermeer aficionados, high-tech imaging techniques and plenty of cash. Why? Because what began as a regular restoration of a painting has now resulted in the radical alteration of an iconic image.
But who decides how paintings from the past should be analyzed? And how to respond to any surprising findings? This film ponders the prerogative of interpretation in art, in the past and the present. Will the revelation of Cupid finally help to uncover the enduring secrets of Vermeer?
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