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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: THE DUTCH BAROQUE - JAN VERMEER
4/23/2010 12:30:59 AM
Quote:

Luis,

I tend to agree with your reasoning here.

The arms in particular are the most obvious area for concern.

The composition too doesn't FEEL right.

Fascinating.



Yes Roger, the composition is poor, as is the work on the girl's arms. It does not look at all like Vermeer's other paintings where short of his obvious great concern with light, his other main concern is, no less obviously, a neat composition - which, of course, does not preclude its being at the same time imposing. Think of all his other works where despite the many objects, not one is superfluous, nor can it be said that anything is missing; and where every object is unobtrusively in place with regard to all the others, and in perfect harmony with the laws of perspective. All these other works possess the sign of greatness. By comparison, and however other merits it may have, the work in question is simply meager - i.e. it lacks in both quality and quantity.

You have no idea how much I appreciate your input.

Best Wishes,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo



"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: THE DUTCH BAROQUE - JAN VERMEER
4/23/2010 2:59:04 AM
Quote:
Hi Luis,

I see what you mean, but I would have never seen it if not for your information. Very interesting.

Myrna



Well Myrna, I am so glad you find it interesting, because it indeed is. For example, I forgot to mention something else that almost always is present in Vermeer's interior paintings but is missing in A Young Woman Seated at the Virginal - something which, by the way, might have somehow alleviated the meager impression it produces: a floor, and, preferably, a patterned floor like the one featured in Vermeer's A Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid (see the previous page) and in so many other great paintings by him, which in addition could have given it more balance and space.

What I love the most of contributions like those of, for example, Roger and you is the fact that they stimulate me to discover new things in both the featured and related art works, plus more and more interesting relationships between this and such other paintings, special characteristics in them surprisingly not perceived by the experts, interesting conclusions about the works presented, etc. In this way, particularly in recent threads, I have consistently tried to not rely too much on the opinion of the specialists - it so frequently is rather faulty - with the result that we all may now say that we have probably learned to not only enjoy but also to appreciate the art of the great masters.

Best Wishes,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Roger Macdivitt .

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RE: THE DUTCH BAROQUE - JAN VERMEER
4/23/2010 8:30:06 PM

Luis,

I can't believe that I missed the floor. This is the major composition difference which separates this from others.

This week I stumbled upon some Velázquez paintings and was struck by similarities . Although clearly by different hands some of their composition and techniques show similarities.

They were geographically distant but were of roughly the same period. I was impressed by Velázquez's faces, they have similar characteristics even though the features are very different.

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: THE DUTCH BAROQUE - JAN VERMEER
4/24/2010 2:06:49 AM
Quote:

Luis,

I can't believe that I missed the floor. This is the major composition difference which separates this from others.

This week I stumbled upon some Velázquez paintings and was struck by similarities . Although clearly by different hands some of their composition and techniques show similarities.

They were geographically distant but were of roughly the same period. I was impressed by Velázquez's faces, they have similar characteristics even though the features are very different.



Dear Roger,

Once again you are right, both in the matter of the floor and especially in the striking similarities between Vermeer and Velázquez' works. This time it is I who cannot believe I missed it. As I told you recently, you have a keen eye for painting and particularly for the paintings of the great masters. In this case it is actually not very easy to perceive those similarities since these two great masters for the most part painted quite different subjects. And yet, there are several common points between them like their belonging to the Rococo Era and the fact that the Netherlands were part of the Spanish Empire for a long time.

Since Vermeer is posterior in time to Velázquez, I think it very likely that he found the inspiration for his earlier paintings in the latter's works. At least, he must have studied them in the same way that he is believed to have studied those of the great Italian Mannerist Caravaggio, another master of light and chiaroscuro. In looking at Vermeer's Diana and Her Companions (1655 - 56), one of his earliest master works in fact and one of your favorites by your own confession (in page 2 of this topic), one cannot but think that it could have perfectly been painted by Velázquez, in fact, it probably looks more like a painting by Velázquez than a work by Vermeer. Granted that Vermeer had not yet found his style at the time he painted it, but there still are other later works by him that are somewhat reminiscent of Velázquez painting, like his Art of Painting (1662 - 68) that I am showing immediately below the Diana.


Jan Vermeer - Diana and Her Companions (oil on canvas, c.1655 - 56)

Jan Vermeer - The Art of Painting (oil on canvas, c.1666)

As you say, there are certain differences; at the same time, however, the similarities abound, for example in the use of light, in the superb composition and in the precise, grandiose perspective in the works of both masters which somehow make them equivalent.

Best Wishes,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: THE DUTCH BAROQUE - JAN VERMEER
4/30/2010 10:57:30 AM
Dear Friends,

The other thing I wanted to touch before closing this thread is, in fact, related to the subject matter in my previous post. So it is rather a single matter in two.

Do you think beauty, and particularly a girl's beauty, is really essential to make a work of art beautiful? Or if the work of art in question, for example, is the portrait of an unattractive girl, will it be not exactly beautiful but just "artistic"?

One might think, for example, that it was the unattractiveness of the the girl portrayed in my last post that made it impossible for whoever it was its author to make an accomplished work.

Below are two paintings by Vermeer portraying two girls, one of them still less appealing than the other, but the two of them definitely unattractive. What a difference with The Girl with a Pearl Earring that motivated this thread. Another point to consider is both paintings are almost devoid of pictorial elements, and if the first still features an uncommon head piece and clothes and a flute to somehow heighten the viewer's interest, the other simply shows the girl's figure and little else.




Jan Vermeer - Girl with a Flute (oil on canvas, c.1665-1670)

Jan Vermeer - Study of a Young Woman (oil on canvas, c.1665 -1674)


What do you think?

The debate is open.

But whatever the answer, my opinion is Vermeer created beauty in these two paintings. Even more, there was a hidden beauty in those girls, he could see it, and he just translated it into the canvas. In a way, he made them immortal. Here was the art of a real genius to accomplish that.


Best Wishes,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo



"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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