Friday Night/ Saturday Afternoon Gallery Chat – Vermeer

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Good Evening!  Johannas Vermeer was an  oil painter from the 1600’s who is renowned for his use of natural light.  Even today his paintings glow with the resplendant textures and richness that only natural light can discover.

The subject matter of common activities from daily life that he portrayed makes the viewer feel as if they have stepped back into time and – they belong there.

See examples below,

The Astronomer

The Milkmaid

The Girl with the Wineglass c. 1659, by Vermeer


I did a self portrait with a poster of this Vermeer hanging on the wall, and because I painted it from a mirror -the direction of the head is flipped, she is looking over her right shoulder, any way – never noticed that- it is a beautiful painting, one of my top ten favorites,

The Girl With the Pearl Earring (1665), considered a Vermeer masterpiece

The Music Lesson or A Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman, c. 1662-65; Vermeer

FROM WIKIPEDIA  Vermeer produced transparent colours by applying paint to the canvas in loosely granular layers, a technique called pointillé (not to be confused with pointillism). No drawings have been positively attributed to Vermeer, and his paintings offer few clues to preparatory methods. David Hockney, among other historians and advocates of the Hockney-Falco thesis, has speculated that Vermeer used a camera obscura to achieve precise positioning in his compositions, and this view seems to be supported by certain light and perspective effects which would result from the use of such lenses and not the naked eye alone. The extent of Vermeer’s dependence upon the camera obscura is disputed by historians.

There is no other seventeenth century artist who early in his career employed, in the most lavish way, the exorbitantly expensive pigment lapis lazuli, or natural ultramarine. Vermeer not only used this in elements that are naturally of this colour; the earth colours umber and ochre should be understood as warm light within a painting’s strongly-lit interior, which reflects its multiple colours onto the wall. In this way, he created a world more perfect than any he had witnessed.[21] This working method most probably was inspired by Vermeer’s understanding of Leonardo’s observations that the surface of every object partakes of the colour of the adjacent object.[22] This means that no object is ever seen entirely in its natural colour.

A comparable but even more remarkable, yet effectual, use of natural ultramarine is in The Girl with a Wineglass. The shadows of the red satin dress are underpainted in natural ultramarine, and due to this underlying blue paint layer, the red lake and vermilion mixture applied over it acquires a slightly purple, cool and crisp appearance that is most powerful.


Try to take a photograph that captures the same kind of beauty and classical form, but look for it your life.

Have a great evening! 



The Art of Painting
Born Baptized 31 October 1632(1632-10-31)
Delft, Netherlands
Died 15 December 1675 (aged 43)
Delft, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Field Painting
Movement Baroque
Works About 35 paintings have been attributed
Influenced by Carel Fabritius, Leonaert Bramer, Dirck van Baburen?




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