January 2, 2012

Starting the Year with Johannes Vermeer: "Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window"

Nationality: Dutch
Born-Died: 1632-1675

Creation Date:  1657-1659
Size: 33 × 25.4inch (83 × 64.5 cm)
Media: Oil on canvas
Location: Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, Germany

I love this painting, but I'm not crazy about the rendering of the "trompe-l'œil" curtain, which doesn't look quite real.  During this period, it was not unusual for art owners--and almost everyone was an art owner then--to have curtains flanking or covering their paintings.  This is why many artists (like Vermeer and Rembrandt) painted illusionistic curtains in front of the depicted scene as a kind of clever trick or joke. 
On a side note, this curtain-illusion idea is obviously very old and simple (and it doesn't really add much to the work) yet I could easily see a painter today employing something similiar and claiming that it is profound.
Curtain aside, this painting is amazing.

No comments:

Post a Comment