vrijdag 26 augustus 2011

A Lady and two Gentlemen (1662)

Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum / www.haum.niedersachsen.de

A young woman wearing an elegant red dress is seated in the foreground turned toward the left and looking half-smilingly at the viewer. It is one of the rare instances when Vermeer animates one of his figures with a semblance of expression. She seems to be courted by a fine gentleman, bent over and encouraging the young lady to take a sip from the wine glass that she holds in her hand.

Farther back, another gentleman sits behind a table featuring an exquisitely painted still life of a silver plate, fruit, and white pitcher. The second male figure sits in a pose reminiscent of the Girl Asleep, apparently befuddled by too much wine.

The painting has been overcleaned, the last time in 1900, and the sitting man in the background was overpainted during the eighteenth century, as comes out of the descriptions of 1744 and 1776. The room where the artist placed the composition resembles others frequently used by him. Patterns, windows, and walls reappear with minor changes. In this respect, Vermeer did not show much originality. His mastery resides in the delicacy of the execution, the use of light, and the grouping of his figures.

More information about Vermeers paintings


donderdag 25 augustus 2011

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher (1662)

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art / www.metmuseum.org

This well-preserved picture of the early to mid-1660s is characteristic of Vermeer's mature style. Notwithstanding his remarkable interest in optical effects, the artist achieved a quiet balance of primary colors and simple shapes through subtle calculation and some revision during the execution of the work.

The composition suits the theme of domestic tranquility, underscored by the basin and pitcher, traditional symbols of purity.

This canvas was the first of thirteen paintings by Vermeer to enter the United States between 1887 and 1919.

More information about Vermeers paintings


Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (1662)

Woman in blueAmsterdam, Rijksmuseum / www.rijksmuseum.nl

A young woman is reading a letter, around her are a table and chairs. She is illuminated by the light from what is presumably a window. On the wall behind her is a map. The artist has achieved a muted tone with his use of blues and browns.
Vermeer has played here with the light and shadow. While the map and the chair cast a distinct shadow on the wall, the woman does not. It makes her stands out from the background.

In Dutch genre painting a woman reading a letter was usually a reference to love. The map on the wall may refer to a distant lover, but the painting offers no further clues to a hidden meaning. The map, showing Holland and West Friesland appears in an earlier painting by Vermeer of the Soldier and the Laughing Girl. Although the young woman appears to be pregnant, this is not necessarily the case. The fashionable wide jacket she is wearing may make her figure appear fuller than it is.

The woman is surrounded by furniture. The table and chairs define the space around her. Vermeer adjusted the balance in his painting by playing with the areas of light and shadow. X-ray photos show that the map on the wall was originally narrower. To improve the composition Vermeer made it wider. He also altered the woman's jacket. Originally it was a wider, fur-trimmed cloak. Vermeer made the jacket simpler and less wide. The woman's back, dark in shadow, stands out sharply against the light wall behind her. The contour of her back is clear and deliberately depicted, while other lines are more fuzzy, such as the illuminated profile of her face.

More information about Vermeers paintings


donderdag 11 augustus 2011

Quentin Buvelot talks about Vermeers View of Delft

On the dutch website www.kunstblog.nl, everyweek a different art expert from a museum tells about a picture that he or she likes specificly. This week Quentin Buvelot, senior curator from the Mauritshuis in The Hague has posted an interesting article on Vermeers painting View on Delft.

Read the whole article

More information on the View of Delft

woensdag 10 augustus 2011

Curator Quentin Buvelot vertelt over het Gezicht op Delft

Elke woensdag staat er op kunstblog.nl met Curator’s Choice een ander museum in de spotlight. Één van de conservatoren van het betreffende museum zal vertellen over het museum, zichzelf en een bijzonder werk uit de collectie van het museum.

Deze week schreef hoofdconservator Quentin Buvelot van het Mauritshuis in Den Haag een leuk artikel over Vermeers schilderij "Gezicht op Delft".

Vooral de bijzondere wolkenlucht, de compositie en de manier waarop Vermeer het licht gebruikt komen aan bod. Ook vertelt hij al iets over een nieuwe tentoonstelling in het Mauritshuis die er dit najaar aankomt: Dali meets Vermeer.

Lees het hele artikel

Meer informatie Gezicht op Delft

dinsdag 2 augustus 2011

Vermeers Little Street (1661)

Vermeer painting The little streetThe Little Street (Het Straatje) is a painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, executed c. 1657-1658. It is housed in the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, and signed left below the window with the writing "I V MEER".

Although the painting represents in truth two houses and was initially described as one house only, there does not seem to be any doubt about the identification. It is a very simple and appealing painting, which conveys to the viewer a typical aspect of Dutch life as one encountered it in the period. The habitation ensconces and protects its dwellers, while the façades show the viewer nothing but the outside of their intimate existence. This essential simplicity is translated by the artist into a representation of a quiet street imbued with dignity.

Contemporaries like de Hooch and Jan Steen also painted bricks and mortar, but their treatment is close only in appearance. Vermeer, as usual, elevated his aim into regions of philosophy that surpassed the pedestrian attempts of others by his calm majesty and feeling for shared intimacy, of which he alone was capable. If superficially, Vermeer resembles his Delft colleagues, he easily surpasses them by the depth of his mastery of light and mood. The painting must be chronologically ranged rather early, because he was the initiator of the genre in this particular fashion.

The Little street is part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum / www.rijksmuseum.nl in Amsterdam / Netherlands.

More information on paintings Vermeer

maandag 1 augustus 2011

Historie Vermeer in Delft

De beroemde schilder Johannes Vermeer woonde, leefde en werkte zijn hele leven in Delft. Op de website van het Toeristen Informatie Punt Delft staat een leuk overzicht met informatie over zijn leven en werk in Delft.

Zo zijn er nog diverse locaties in het centrum van Delft die een relatie hebben met het leven van Vermeer, waarbij de omgeving direkt bij de markt een centrale plaats innam. Vlak bij de markt is nu het Vermeer Centrum, dat gebouwd is op de plaats van de herberg Mechelen. Zijn vader kocht dit huis in 1641.

Tip: in museum het Prinsenhof zijn schilderijen te zien van andere schilders uit te tijd van Vermeer. Een van de landschappen is zelfs terug te zien in een schilderij van Vermeer!

Meer informatie historie Vermeer

Informatie leven Vermeer bij Vermeer Centrum Delft

Het Mauritshuis over het Meisje met de parel

Het Meisje met de parel is bij het grote publiek uitgegroeid tot de meest geliefde Vermeer. Waar komt die fascinatie vandaan? Het moet iets te maken hebben met het feit dat het meisje over haar schouder kijkt, alsof ze wil zien wie er achter haar staat. Zo wordt de toeschouwer direct bij de voorstelling betrokken, alsof hij degene is die het meisje doet omkijken.

En dan is er nog het meisje zelf, dat ons met een sensuele, halfgeopende mond en grote ogen aankijkt. Ze maakt een onbevangen, licht afwachtende indruk. Bij velen zal ze sympathie opwekken, al weten we niet wie zij is.

Lees het hele artikel van Het Mauritshuis

Het Meisje met de parel is nu onderdeel van de collectie van Het Mauritshuis in Den Haag. Wie het beroemde schilderij daar nu wil zien moet nog even geduld hebben. Het Mauritshuis wordt verbouwd
en opent naar verwachting weer in 2014.

Het Meisje met de parel zelf gaat ondertussen op reis. Zo gaat ze onder andere naar
Japan waar Vermeer heel geliefd is. Tot 2012 is ze daar te zien in het Kobe City Museum. De verbouwing wordt deels betaald uit de inkomsten van topstukken als dit schilderij van Vermeer.