Vermeer’s Light

The light of springtime is diffuse.

This is not Apollo’s light which is pinpoint light so bright that you can see all the details in one scan of your eyes.  The light of high summer in the temperate parts of the world. 

 A prime pleasure of springtime this diffuse light as in these paintings of Vermeer.  Not a light to fight against or feel oppressed by or hide from or wear sunglasses against, even if you can find them.

 

1

 Study of a Young Woman, 1646-’47, oil on canvas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

The best light for moving outwards and inwards;  feeling one’s way and looking out and about for others – human and animal and plant – all feeling their way and looking out and around also.

 The best light for tasks and disciplines interrupted, of course, by a little more looking around and about; and for absorbing the sleep of daylight.

DSC00225_edited-1

 Girl with a Flute, 1665/’75; oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

DSC00218_edited-3 The Girl with the Red Hat, 1635, oil on canvas.  The National Gallery, Washington, DC

 Woman Holding a Balance, 1664, oil on canvas.  National Gallery, Washington DC   

 

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, 1672, oil on canvas.  Loaned by the Leiden Collection, NY to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2013 and 2014

7 Woman with a Lute, 1662-’63, oil on canvas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

3

4

 A Maid Asleep, and detail, 1656-’67, oil on canvas; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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