Art-Vermeer-Girl with a Red Hat TB
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
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About This Item
This is one of a series of travel bugs made to recognize paintings seen and admired by the bug owner. A digital copy of this painting was downloaded from the internet. The copy was reduced in size and cropped to accommodate the laminating materials available to the owner. Regrettably these processes diminish the effort of the artist. One truly must see the original in person to fully appreciate the work. The text below is a mixture of my own observations and material gleaned from the internet (mostly Wikipedia and Web Gallery).
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a painter during the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Prior to this time most patrons of the arts were the church and royalty who largely wanted portraits and paintings with religious or allegorical themes. After the Renaissance, northern Europe became a center of commerce and the middle classes prospered to the point that they wanted art to decorate their homes. And, they had broader tastes is subject matter than institutional patrons. To satisfy the demand, the Dutch and Flemish regions developed an amazing number of reknowned artists. Portraiture and religious topics were still important, but landscape, seascape, cityscape, still life and commemorative paintings began to appear. However, another kind of subject matter really flourished at this time, genre paintings. These were scenes from everyday life, depicting people from all classes. One of Vermeer’s early paintings (The Procuress) depicts a client negotiating with a madam for time with a prostitute.
All authentic Vermeers are painted on canvas. For that reason some critics believe this painting is not by Vermeer. It, and the Girl with a Flute (also in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC) are painted on wood. Further evidence is that x-ray analysis revealed this work has been painted on an upside-down Rembrandt-like portrait of a man. These critics consider it a pasticcio, a painting done in the style of someone else. Let me add to the argument that the best Vermeers, unlike this portrait, are lighted from the left. Nonetheless, I like the painting—even if it is just done in the manner of Vermeer. Vermeer was virtually unknown until the 19th century and only thirty-four paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since his discovery Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.
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