February 9, 2012

Johannes Vermeer's "An Allegory of Faith"

Nationality: Dutch
Born-Died: 1632-1675
Creation Date: c. 1670-72
Size: 45 × 35 inch (114.3 × 88.9 cm)
Media: Oil on canvas
Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, USA

I recently read some criticism of this painting that said Vermeer's departure from his usually intimate, introspective imagery in favor of this semi-bombastic depiction of religious passion falls flat.  I agree.  This ode to faith doesn't appeal to me in terms of content, but it also doesn't interest me in the way it's presented.  I'm not a fan of artistic "symbol adding" where a scene is loaded with pre-established symbols for different things, all of which add up to a grand statement.  Apparently, it is not known why Vermeer decided to paint such an image as he was not particularly passionate about religion throughout his life.

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