Johannes Vermeer's "Woman Holding A Balance"
August 17, 2012 2:04 PM Subscribe
Johannes Vermeer's "Woman Holding A Balance"Vermeer's visual music is utterly mysterious. He wasn't only abstract on the large scale of composition, negative shape and depth. When you look at the details, you see a system of coherent microforms in every representation of small pattern and texture, whether he's doing the faux-marble finish of a virginal case or resolving the optical glitter of a gold frame into tiny lozenges of paint. You're meant to enjoy both the illusion and the means by which it's brought about. Supremely conscious of his language, he puts all the machinery in the open--like Velazquez, but on a tiny scale. And then, suddenly, he pulls you inside, through the looking glass, and you are left in awe at the intensity of this seemingly quiet vision, its power to enclose you in its fictions.
posted by Egg Shen (15 comments total)
21 users marked this as a favorite
- Robert Hughes
Bequeathed by the estate of Peter Widener
to the National Gallery of Art
in 1942, the painting is on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts through September 2