Woman Holding a Balance - Jan Vermeer

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This painting was known until recently as the woman weighing pearls but new technology in the shape of microscopic analysis has shown that the balance in the woman's hand is empty. Further there can be seen no loose pearls on the table to be weighed, so did Vermeer really mean this work to be taken as a woman weighing pearls? The recent findings show this is not so. (Wikipedia.com)
If you look at the painting behind the woman it can be seen that its a depiction of the last judgment and in front of her on the table are material wealth, from the cloth to the jewelry and even the trimmings on the clothing she is wearing shows that she is in a wealthy setting. But this paintings is another of Vermeer's allegorical paintings and all is not as it seems, the painting and the trappings of wealth represent the choice of spiritual or material, and the choices she must make in life to attain spiritual perfection. The woman herself is self-assured and showing she is fully aware of the life she leads and the choices she is making to take her towards the final judgment.