Art-Vermeer-Mistress and Maid with Letter TB03
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Texas, United States
In the hands of NolansRus.
This is not collectible.
Use TB4YCYB to reference this item.
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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 proportions 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 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.
Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colors and sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for the cornflower blue and yellow very much on display here. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. He specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. As is the case here, some of his better paintings leave the viewer with a sense of having walked in on a very private moment. This is an unusually large composition, measuring about 30 x 36 inches. The Frick Collection, New York, houses this and two other Vermeers. While I was pleased with the other two paintings, I was blind-sided by the superb quality of this one. None of the photos in books or online do it justice.
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