[to Vermeer, after seeing her own portrait for the first time]

Griet: You looked inside me...

Catharina: [in tears] Why don't you paint me?

Vermeer: Because you don't understand.

Catharina: [gesturing toward Griet indignantly] And *she* does?

[after bringing meat for the birth feast]

Pieter: Not even a smile for my pains?

Griet: Not today.

Pieter: Come on.

[she refuses]

Pieter: I shall put it in the book, then: "Owed by Griet: one smile."

[Griet gives in and smiles]

Maria Thins: [referring to Van Ruijven while speaking to Griet] You're a fly in his web... we all are.

Van Ruijven: How hard is it to paint a pretty girl?

Van Ruijven: You have very wide eyes.

Griet: Good morning, madam.


Catharina: Don't speak until you are spoken to.

Pieter: Don't get caught up in his world.

Griet: I may only be a maid, but I would NEVER give in to Master Van Ruijven!

Pieter: I wasn't talking about Van Ruijven...

Vermeer: [Describing his newly arrived Camera Obscura] See this? This is called a lens. Beams of reflected light from that corner pass through it, into the box, so that we can see it here.

Griet: Is it real?

Vermeer: It's an image. A picture made of light.

Griet: Does the box show you what to paint?

Vermeer: It helps.

Vermeer: Look at me. Now, turn your head. Not your shoulders. Look at me. There. That's it.

Catharina: Is it true she wore my pearls? How could you? How could you?

Catharina: Show me this painting.

Vermeer: It will make your self ill.

Catharina: You show me.

[Vermeer reveals the painting]

Catharina: It's obscene.

Griet: [enters the room, where Maria Thins and Catharina sit quietly by the fireplace, and curtsies]

Catharina: Yes?

Griet: Madam, shall I wash the windows?

Catharina: [Scoffs] You don't need to ask me about such matters.

Griet: It's just...it may change the light.

[both Catharina and Maria Thins stare at Griet questioningly]

[after cornering Griet]

Van Ruijven: [maliciously] Ripe as a plum, still unplucked.

[last lines]

Tanneke: Well, I've come to the right place, then. This is for you.

[referring to a yellow paint used in Vermeer's portrait of Mistress van Ruijven]

Van Ruijven: Is this Indian yellow? Distilled from the urine of sacred cows feed only on mango leaves. You've glazed my wife - in dried piss.

Van Ruijven: Griet, come here. What were you doing today? I missed you. We both did. I hear you've been of great use to your master, pretty Griet. All that grinding and stirring, eh? Master and maid. Its a tune we all know. And you can practice together, now.

Griet's Mother: Stay clear of their Catholic prayers. Or if you must be with them when they pray, stop your ears.

Maria Thins: You're not the first to forget your manners in front of his paintings. Tell me girl, do you think it finished? Three months. Another three before he's satisfied, no doubt. Well, get along girl. You're not paid to stand gawking all day.

Van Ruijven: Look at her, man! How hard is it to paint a pretty girl? Can I have her?

Maria Thins: He's no fool, mind you. And he won't be taken for one. So, don't think otherwise.

Van Ruijven: I gotcha. Hold still! I want to to look at you. Now, girl, tell me how you get on up there. Has he found his composition? Do you move him? Do you inspire him?

Tanneke: She thought she was somebody, all dressed up like a lady. Green as grass, mind you. She'd only worked there a few months before Master Van Ruijven brought her over to be painted. Got her into that fine red dress. Poured wine down her like he was forcing a goose. That dress can't have stayed on long. She was carrying his by blow before the paint was dry.

[first lines]

Griet's Mother: Griet! Leave that.

Catharina: She's dishonest, always sneaking around, shirking her work!

Tanneke: You took your time. Lose your way, did ya? Your mistress is out this morning. I'm to show you around. Water for the table. Take water from the canal for laundry. It's clean enough this side of town. Soda. Coppers. Boiler. Sand and Soap. In cooking kitchen, you're to help serve and clear. Buy fish and meat, when young mistress don't want to. You'll take your meals with me and the children. That's your sleeping place. Scour the pots and pans. Young mistress and master sleep and have company here. You'll get used to it. You're to clean in there.

[Griet starts to walk down the hall where Tanneke is pointing]

Tanneke: Not now! He's painting.

Tanneke: One year it got so bad, he had to sell some of her jewels. You can imagine how that pleased her. She smashed half the china. Went to spoil one of his precious paintings.

Van Ruijven: It was the old woman's idea to combine the birth feast and the viewing. She's a tight fist! I won't turn out for small beer and biscuits, tell her.

Van Ruijven: Your master is a fine painter, Griet. The finest in Delft. He's painted me. Perhaps, that will be my epitaph.

[Removes a cloth from the front of a painting]

Van Ruijven: Look at that dress. You can almost stroke the satin And the wine, winking through the glass. Can you imagine yourself in such finery, Griet? She loved it, you know. Lace and satin pressed tightly against her pump little bobbies. The silk, heavy on her thighs. The gentlemen watching. My God, she was happy.

Van Ruijven: So, have you decided what to do up next, Jan? Have you found inspiration up in that room of yours? Is there another patron in Delft with pockets as deep as mine?

Maria Thins: A connoisseur in everything, Master Van Ruijven. But, you should be faithful to one mistress above all others: Art!

Maria Thins: One of the great patrons! With your exquisite taste. Your subtle understanding of allegory and illusions.

Van Ruijven: No, no, no, stop it! Stop it! Stop it! My God, woman, you could sell sour milk to cows.

Pieter: No smoke without fire, they say.

Griet: Is that what you think?

Pieter: No. You're only a maid, what can you do?

Van Ruijven: He made a bargain with me. He's painting you at my pleasure. I waited long enough. What a great fool he is. Don't fight.

Van Ruijven: Ah, there you are, my dear. The maid kept me talking with some cock-and-bull story.

Maria Thins: Well, girl, what's to be done? Master Van Ruijven wants his paintings and he will bear no more delay. If he crosses Van Ruijven over this, he will lose him. Then what?

Maria Thins: My daughter is out for the day. Do it now.

[hands Griet the pearl earrings]

Griet: You do it.

Pieter: Don't rush away, Griet. Please. Leave the house. Join me and Pa in the meat market.

Griet: I must get back.

Pieter: I'll fetch your things. I'll send someone.

Griet: No.

Pieter: Our own life, Griet. Answering to no one. Marry me.

Catharina: Will no one speak the truth to me in my own house.

Maria Thins: By all the saints, if you would stop screaming for a moment, I can explain.

Catharina: Of all lies! I don't want to hear anymore of your lies, mother.

Catharina: So, no more hiding now. Here I am. I want to see this painting.

Catharina: She can't read! You know that?