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Vermeer: Faith in Painting

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Through a historical analysis of Vermeer's method of production and a close reading of his art, Daniel Arasse explores the originality of this artist in the context of seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Arguing that Vermeer was not a painter in the conventional, commercial sense of his Dutch colleagues, Arasse suggests that his confrontation with painting represented a very personal and ambitious effort to define a new pictorial practice within the classical tradition of his art. By examining Vermeer's approach to image-making, the author finds that his works demonstrate the concept of painting as a medium through which the viewer senses the ungraspable and mysterious presence of life. Not only does this concept of painting carry on the traditions of Classical Antiquity and the High Renaissance, but it also relates to Catholic ideas about spiritual meditation and the power of images.

Arasse shows that although Vermeer usually uses secular subject matter commonplace among his contemporaries, his treatment of iconography, light, and line, for example, varies greatly from theirs. Iconographical elements tend to hold meaning in suspense rather than to explicate; dazzling light emanates from interior objects; sfumato renders the presence of objects without depicting them. Discussing these and other aspects of Vermeer's art, Arasse locates the painter's genius in the reflexive, meditative nature of his works, each of which seems to be a painting about painting.

Synopsis:

Through a historical analysis of Vermeer's method of production and a close reading of his art, Daniel Arasse explores the originality of this artist in the context of seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Arguing that Vermeer was not a painter in the conventional, commercial sense of his Dutch colleagues, Arasse suggests that his confrontation with painting represented a very personal and ambitious effort to define a new pictorial practice within the classical tradition of his art. By examining Vermeer's approach to image-making, the author finds that his works demonstrate the concept of painting as a medium through which the viewer senses the ungraspable and mysterious presence of life. Not only does this concept of painting carry on the traditions of Classical Antiquity and the High Renaissance, but it also relates to Catholic ideas about spiritual meditation and the power of images.

Arasse shows that although Vermeer usually uses secular subject matter commonplace among his contemporaries, his treatment of iconography, light, and line, for example, varies greatly from theirs. Iconographical elements tend to hold meaning in suspense rather than to explicate; dazzling light emanates from interior objects; sfumato renders the presence of objects without depicting them. Discussing these and other aspects of Vermeer's art, Arasse locates the painter's genius in the reflexive, meditative nature of his works, each of which seems to be a painting about painting.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Ch. 1"The Mysterious Vermeer"3
Ch. 2The Professional Context9
Vermeer's Reputation9
Vermeer and Money13
Vermeer and Painting15
Ch. 3The-Picture-within-the-Picture22
False Citations23
The Suspension of Meaning26
The Mirror of Art33
Ch. 4The Art of Painting40
A Personal Allegory41
The Painter's Double Horizon44
"Nova Descriptio"48
A Painter's Position54
Ch. 5The Place Within59
Surface Space59
The Figure and Its Locus63
Precision and Blur69
Ch. 6Vermeer's Religion76
Appendix 1: "The Mysterious Vermeer"87
Appendix 2: About the Girl in a Red Hat99
Notes103
Bibliography127
Index133

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691029306
Translator:
Grabar, Terry
Author:
Grabar, Terry
Author:
Arasse, Daniel
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
History - General
Subject:
Individual Artist
Subject:
Arts, fine
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Art and architecture
Subject:
Individual Artists - General
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
September 1996
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 color plates 45 halftones
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Art History Surveys
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Painting » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy

Vermeer: Faith in Painting New Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691029306 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Through a historical analysis of Vermeer's method of production and a close reading of his art, Daniel Arasse explores the originality of this artist in the context of seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Arguing that Vermeer was not a painter in the conventional, commercial sense of his Dutch colleagues, Arasse suggests that his confrontation with painting represented a very personal and ambitious effort to define a new pictorial practice within the classical tradition of his art. By examining Vermeer's approach to image-making, the author finds that his works demonstrate the concept of painting as a medium through which the viewer senses the ungraspable and mysterious presence of life. Not only does this concept of painting carry on the traditions of Classical Antiquity and the High Renaissance, but it also relates to Catholic ideas about spiritual meditation and the power of images.

Arasse shows that although Vermeer usually uses secular subject matter commonplace among his contemporaries, his treatment of iconography, light, and line, for example, varies greatly from theirs. Iconographical elements tend to hold meaning in suspense rather than to explicate; dazzling light emanates from interior objects; sfumato renders the presence of objects without depicting them. Discussing these and other aspects of Vermeer's art, Arasse locates the painter's genius in the reflexive, meditative nature of his works, each of which seems to be a painting about painting.

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