The original, signed and dated 1656, 143 x 130 cm, has been in the Staatliche Gemldegalerie, Dresden, since 1741 (see A. Blankert et. al., Vermeer, 1992, p.171, no3, plate 3).
The Magdenburg-born painter Hugo Vogel studied at the Dsseldorf Academy. In 1886 he went to Berlin, where he became a teacher at the Academy in 1888.
As O. Ydema explains in Carpets and their Datings in Netherlandish Paintings 1540-1700, 1991, pp.43/4, the carpet depicted in the present lot is a Medallion Ushak, produced in Anatolia and imported to the Netherlands from the 16th century onwards. In the present composition the carpet is draped horizontally on the table with the upper or lower edge on the right. The finish consists of a yellow killim strip, whereas the fringes are red, presumably made of wool. The dominant ornament in the represented carpet is the star-shaped corner medallion. Usually the Medallion Ushaks had red grounds. The carpet painted by Vermeer is an exception since it has a blue ground. Another example of a Medallion Ushak with a blue ground is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Based on the blue ground and the unusual archaic border design, the carpet in the present picture can be dated considerably earlier than 1656, when the picture was executed. Another Medallion Ushak can be found in Vermeer's Music Lesson, now in the Royal Collection, London.
See colour illustration