January 5, 2012

Starting the Year with Johannes Vermeer: "The Procuress"

Nationality: Dutch
Born-Died: 1632-1675

Creation Date: 1656
Size: 56 × 51 inch (143 × 130 cm)
Media: Oil on canvas
Location: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany

It has been speculated that this scene which depicts a "music hall" (a kind of bar/brothel) with a man picking up a prostitute also includes a self-portrait of Vermeer on the left.  I would hate to think of that drunk with the dirty grin on his face was the brilliant and subtle artist Johannes Vermeer!  That being said, this painting has many, many visual virtues. 

It might seem strange to us to see carpeting on a table, but that was commonplace in Delft at that time.  Also, although much speculation has been written about it, it is unknown why the blue jug is so precariously placed on the edge of the table. 

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