Art-Vermeer-The Milkmaid TB08
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Texas, United States
In The Hidden Cemetery
This is not collectible.
Use TB7F9C7 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 17thcentury. 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.
This picture is among most highly revered paintings by Vermeer, from his own time to the present. It is also a favorite of mine. Unlike other of his paintings the white, yellow and blue colors are far from robust, but are rather toned down, in keeping with the worn work clothes of his model. The still life in the foreground conveys domestic simplicity, and the light falling in from the left illuminates a bare white kitchen wall, against which the silhouette of the maid stands out. One can sense the concentration on the task at hand, and complete absorption in it. The details of the painting are exquisite—I was particularly taken with the perfect depiction of the flow of the milk. While the painting is commonly called The Milkmaid, it is really of a domestic worker preparing breakfast for her family. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings. This one was seen at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
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