Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to See and Hear Vermeer

Many of Johannes Vermeer’s most famous paintings seem almost eerily silent: The Milkmaid pouring cool milk into a jar, The Lacemaker deep in concentration, the Girl with a Pearl Earring looking fetchingly over her shoulder. But in Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure, which runs through September 8, 2013 at the National Gallery, London, we not only see Vermeer—we “hear” him. Through genre pictures of people making music in the home for their own entertainment, Vermeer (and his contemporaries) captured the very sounds of the day in their paintings. Accompanied by musicians playing the music of Vermeer’s time in the galleries with the paintings, Vermeer and Music brings the Dutch master resoundingly to life. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How to See and Hear Vermeer."

[Image: Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). The Guitar Player, about 1672. Oil on canvas. 53 x 46.3 cm. On loan from English Heritage, The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood). © English Heritage.]
[Many thanks to the National Gallery, London, for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure, which runs through September 8, 2013.]

1 comment:

Hels said...

I agree that the rising Dutch merchant class that patronised mid 17th century artists possessed the leisure time and disposable income to make music part of their daily life.

But Vermeer was tracking more than disposable income. Well dressed middle class singles couldn't really hang around pubs so where did they do their socialising? I am guessing inside respectable lounge rooms, playing music, singing and drinking wine. As a result, Vermeer's musical paintings are aesthetically and historically to die for.