Woman reading a letter, Johannes Vermeer, 1662. In a quiet, private moment, a young woman stands, engrossed in reading a letter. It is morning, and she is still wearing her blue nightrobe. All the other colours are subordinate to its radiant lapis lazuli; yellow and red hardly make an appearance. Vermeer rendered the different effects of the cool light precisely. For example, he was the first artist to try soft grey for flesh, and to paint the shadows on the wall light blue.