“Advice to those about to acquire a Vermeer: Always look at it as it might appear in its average moments–not as it might glow in the light-dance of the fireplace, or burn from within on a fall Sunday morning when the amalgamation of the sun’s rays blasts red upon those fat dutch cheeks, or as you would make it glow when you return home flushed with the one victory or another, or with wine. None of that.
Rather think: What will this masterpiece look like at 2:45 on a February afternoon when you have run out of toilet paper and the roof leaks and a horse has just kicked in your kitchen door for the fun of it. And a dead badger is wedged high in the chimney, stinking up the house. Consider such moments as these, when you are about to acquire your Vermeer. But yes. She is as lovely as a Vermeer.”
–Roger Rosenblatt, The Book of Love