VERMEER, Johannes, Featured Paintings in Detail (2)

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  • VERMEER, Johannes

    Featured Paintings in Detail

    (2)

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman1662-65Oil on canvas, 73,3 x 64,5 cmBuckingham Palace, London

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman (detail)1662-65Oil on canvasBuckingham Palace, London

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman (detail)1662-65Oil on canvasBuckingham Palace, London

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman (detail)1662-65Oil on canvasBuckingham Palace, London

    The table at the right is covered with an Oriental rug, upon which stands a white pitcher on a silver plate. From there on, the bass viol lying on the floor and the figures at the clavecin recede into space.

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman (detail)1662-65Oil on canvasBuckingham Palace, London

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman (detail)1662-65Oil on canvasBuckingham Palace, London

    The use of the inverted Galilean telescope becomes evident if one examines the perspective and the relative importance of the table at the right, covered with an Oriental rug, upon which stands a white pitcher on a silver plate.White porcelain jugs appear repeatedly in Vermeer's art. They contained wine, which was supposed to act as a love potion and help men seduce women.

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting1665-67Oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cmKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting (detail)1665-67Oil on canvasKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

    The artist is seen from behind, seated at his easel, painting a model who is dressed as Clio, the Muse of History. In Cesare Ripa's handbook Iconologia, available to Vermeer in a Dutch translation published in 1644, Clio is described as a girl with a crown of laurel, symbolizing Fame, and holding a trumpet and a volume of the Greek historian Thucydides, symbolizing History. The artist is dressed in a deliberately archaic, 'historical' costume. Vermeer's meaning is that History should be the artist's inspiration. Prominent on the wall behind the artist's model, and painted with remarkable precision and delicacy, is a map of the United Provinces. The projection is south to north rather than the west-east projection of modern maps: in the border are views of the principal towns. The painter, Vermeer is saying, will bring fame not just to his country but also to his town. In Vermeer's case, he will bring fame to Delft.

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting (detail)1665-67Oil on canvasKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

    The heavy curtain on the left, which lets the viewer partake of the scene, has decidedly theatrical connotations. So does the young girl whom the artist portrays, and whose crown of laurel easily identifies her as Fame. A connection with Clio, the muse of history, also exists. She holds a trumpet and a book of Thucydides.

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting (detail)1665-67Oil on canvasKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting (detail)1665-67Oil on canvasKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting (detail)1665-67Oil on canvasKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

  • VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug1660-62Oil on canvas, 45,7 x 40,6 cmMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug (detail)1660-62Oil on canvasMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug (detail)1660-62Oil on canvasMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

    The composition is simple: a young woman standing in the corner of a room, turned to the left, opening a window with her right hand and holding in her left hand a brass water jug.

  • VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug (detail)1660-62Oil on canvasMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • .VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug (detail)1660-62Oil on canvasMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

    The jug is placed on a bowl of the same material, standing with some other paraphernalia on a table covered with a red Oriental rug

  • VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug (detail)1660-62Oil on canvasMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • EYCK, Jan van, Featured Paintings in Detail (2)

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  • VERMEER, JohannesYoung Woman with a Water Jug

    The perfect balance of the composition, the cool clarity of the light, and the silvery tones of blue and gray combine to make this closely studied view of an interior a classic work by Vermeer. It is characteristic of his early maturity and dates from the beginning of the 1660s.

    The composition is simple: a young woman standing in the corner of a room, turned to the left, opening a window with her right hand and holding in her left hand a brass water jug. The jug is placed on a bowl of the same material, standing with some other paraphernalia on a table covered with a red Oriental rug. The whole appears as a symphony in yellow and blue; standing out against the white headdress and large collar worn by the young woman. The background is light, in imitation of Carel Fabritius. A map animates the right corner of the wall. The very simplicity and Oriental stillness of the model make this work one of the most significant compositions by the master. There is light, grace, and distinction here, a tendency toward abstraction that characterizes the master's maturity, and a delicacy in the execution that accompanies his evolution from:the early works toward a more artful manner of pictorial expression.

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman

    In this imposing composition, Vermeer changed for the first time his handling of space, by moving the human figures and the center of the action to the far side of the room. The use of the inverted Galilean telescope becomes evident if one examines the perspective and the relative importance of the table at the right, covered with an Oriental rug, upon which stands a white pitcher on a silver plate. From there on, the bass viol lying on the floor and the figures at the clavecin recede into space.Vermeer, who indicates his presence by including in the mirror-image on the back wall parts of his easel and paint box, wants us to view the scene from afar: a distant happening that we are allowed to watch as intruders, but in which we may not participate. Vermeer outdoes even Frans van Mieris in the wealth of details. The tile floor, the rug, and the ornamentation of the clavecin are rendered with minute care. The same applies to the human figures. Altogether, the painting lacks the nearness and intimacy of former works, and seems posed perhaps to serve as model for a musical impromptu at some gathering of rhetoricians, who were numerous at the time.

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman

    The relationship between music and love as a theme was frequently explored by Dutch seventeenth-century painters with varying shades of meaning. Vermeer's subject matter is often understated, but at the same time objects contained within the picture reinforce the meaning, which in some instances is interpreted on a quasi-philosophical basis. Thus, the two instruments - the virginals and the bass viol - here signify the possibility of a duet symbolising the emotions of the two figures.

    Similarly, the painting behind the man can be identified as Cymon and Pero (also known as Roman Charity) in which a daughter feeds her father, who has been imprisoned, from her own breast, a theme that clearly has connotations that are open to interpretation in the context of love. Cymon and Pero is in the style of a Dutch follower of Caravaggio (possibly Utrecht school), although the original has not been identified. Interestingly, a painting of this subject is listed in the 1641 inventory of items belonging to the artist's mother-in-law, Maria Thins.

  • VERMEER, JohannesA Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman

    The keyboard instrument has been identified as being comparable with those built by Andries Ruckers the Elder. Examples with identical decorative devices on the lid, keywell and fallboard, as well as similar inscriptions, are in Bruges (Museum Gruuthuse), Brussels (Muse Instrumental du Conservatoire) and Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum). The lining paper on the keywell, decorated with flowers, foliage and sea-horses, also occurs on instruments depicted by Metsu (A Man and a Woman seated by a Virginal) and Steen (A Young Woman playing a Harpsichord), both in the National Gallery, London. There are specific sources for the patterns used on the lid and the fallboard, but no source for the pattern on the keywell has yet been discovered.

    The mirror above the woman reflects not only her head and shoulders, but also the artist's easel. The fact that there is a diminution in scale of the head in the mirror and that the image itself is slightly out of focus denotes the use of a camera obscura. However, while the box visible behind the easel in the reflection may indeed be a camera obscura, it may also be a paintbox.

    The mood of this interior by Vermeer is created as much from the confrontation of the two figures as from the juxtaposition of mundane objects within a space precisely proportioned and subtly lit.

  • VERMEER, JohannesThe Art of Painting

    This painting was long called The Artist in His Studio, and we may in effect presume that the artist seen from behind was