Monday, November 20, 2017

A Peek Into The 17th Century

Took the day off from work and went into DC with a friend and her daughter to view the wonderful show at the National Gallery, "Vermeer And The Masters Of Genre Painting." What a show! It was a great learning experience— Vermeer, unlike so many of his contemporaries (and they were all accomplished, talented painters) left large areas in his foregrounds dark and bereft of detail. You end up focusing on the parts he wants you to pay attention to. It's the same thing my gallery owner has suggested I do in my work.

Here's one of Vermeer's, "The Love Letter:"

Note the dark framing devices around the interior of the room— the door on the left, the drapery at upper right, etc. The detail's all there, just in muted colors. Your eye goes right to the maid and the young woman playing the lute.

Here's another one by Gabriel Metsu, "Man Writing A Letter," also beautiful; resplendent in color and masterful in its handling of the three-dimensional components:

But very different from the Vermeer. Everything is handled with equal care.

Here's another beauty by Vermeer, "Woman Holding A Balance:"

Same thing as the earlier Vermeer: soft, dark shadows, a focus on the figure.

My personal favorite, "A Maid Asleep," was not there, but there was PLENTY to look at. The show's up until (I think) January 21st if you live in the area and are so inclined.

Afterward, since all 3 of us had missed breakfast, we had lunch in the cafeteria. Everything I had was tasty, and even the coffee was good! Then we took a couple of turns on the light tunnel—

One of my favorite artworks in the entire world—

And then went up to the roof to view the giant blue rooster:

All in all, a great day. Tomorrow: back to work.

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