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Lady Holding a Balance

Lady Holding a Balance (sometimes Lady Testing a Balance) is an oil painting by Johannes Vermeer. It is dated ca. 1664. It measures 39.7 x 35.5 cm (15 5/8 x 14 in.) It hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. The Gallery writes, "Woman Holding a Balance is an allegorical scene that urges us to conduct our lives with temperance and moderation. The painting within the painting offers an important clue in that Christ's Last Judgment is echoed by the woman's own actions. Before her are earthly treasures; behind her is the symbol of the eternal consequences of her actions here on earth. In waiting for the balance to rest at equilibrium she acknowledges the importance of judgment in weighing her own actions in anticipation of the life to come."

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