A Girl Asleep

Last updated
A Girl Asleep
Vermeer young women sleeping.jpg
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Year 1657
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 87.6 cm× 76.5 cm(34.5 in× 30.1 in)
Location Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

A Girl Asleep, also known as A Woman Asleep, A Woman Asleep at Table, and A Maid Asleep, [1] is a painting by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, 1657. [2] It is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and may not be lent elsewhere under the terms of the donor's bequest. [1]

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Including three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Johannes Vermeer 17th-century Dutch painter

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. He was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime but evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Art museum in New York City, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States. With 7.3 million visitors to its three locations in 2016, it was the fourth most visited art museum in the world, and the fifth most visited museum of any kind. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments. The main building, on the eastern edge of Central Park along Museum Mile in Manhattan 's Upper East Side is by area one of the world's largest art galleries. A much smaller second location, The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, contains an extensive collection of art, architecture, and artifacts from Medieval Europe. On March 18, 2016, the museum opened the Met Breuer museum at Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side; it extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program.

Contents

Theme, influences and composition changes

According to Liedtke, the presence of the dog would have alluded to "the sort of impromptu relationships canine suitors strike up on the street." The man and the dog were replaced with a mirror on a far wall, suggesting how the experience of the senses quickly passes, and a chair left at an angle with a pillow on it, possibly signifying indolence, together with a hint of recent company. The idea that she was recently together with someone is reinforced by the wine pitcher, the glass on its side and the possible presence of a knife and fork on the table. The Chinese bowl with fruit is a symbol of temptation, and for a Vermeer contemporary familiar with the symbolism of Dutch art of the time, the knife and jug lying open-mouthed under a gauzy material would have brought to mind more than social intercourse. [1]

The painting was very likely owned by Vermeer's patron, Pieter van Ruijvan, who also owned The Milkmaid , which has a similar tension between the symbolism of sexual or romantic relations with maids and their presentation in a way that was more sympathetic than the established tradition. [1]

<i>The Milkmaid</i> (Vermeer) 1658 painting by Johannes Vermeer

The Milkmaid, sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, is an oil-on-canvas painting of a "milkmaid", in fact, a domestic kitchen maid, by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. It is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which regards it as "unquestionably one of the museum's finest attractions".

Provenance and exhibitions

The painting was among the large collection of Vermeer works sold on May 16, 1696, from the estate of Jacob Dissius (1653–1695). It is widely believed the collection was originally owned by Dissius' father-in-law, Pieter Claesz van Ruijven of Delft as Vermeer's major patron, then passed down to Ruijven's daughter (1655–1682), who would have left it to Dissius. The work's history from that point is unknown until its ownership by John Waterloo Wilson in Paris after 1873. It was sold on March 14, 1881, in Paris when the Sedelmeyer Gallery in Paris bought it and sold it later that year to Rodolphe Kann, also of Paris. Kann owned the work until 1907. It was sold in 1908 through the Duveen Brothers of London to Benjamin Altman, and it was exhibited in New York in 1909. Altman owned the work until 1913, when it passed into the hands of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a bequest. [1]

Jacob Abrahamsz. Dissius was a Dutch typographer and printer. He is most notable as an art collector and for his links to Johannes Vermeer - his collection included 21 Vermeer works and in 1680 he married Madgdalene, daughter and sole heir of Vermeer's main patron Pieter van Ruijven. Dissius died in 1695 and his collection was auctioned off in Amsterdam the following year.

John W. Wilson Belgian art collector who lived in Haarlem

John Waterloo Wilson was a Belgian art collector who lived many years in Haarlem.

Charles Sedelmeyer Austrian art dealer

Charles Sedelmeyer (1837–1925) was an Austrian art dealer, collector, and publisher active in Paris from 1866, with premises at 6 rue de la Rochefoucauld.

See also

Dutch Golden Age painting

Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) for Dutch independence.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Art of Painting</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Art of Painting, also known as The Allegory of Painting, or Painter in his Studio, is a 17th-century oil on canvas painting by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is owned by the Austrian Republic and is on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

<i>Girl with a Pearl Earring</i> (novel) Book by Tracy Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 1999 historical novel written by Tracy Chevalier. Set in 17th century Delft, Holland, the novel was inspired by local painter Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. Chevalier presents a fictional account of Vermeer, the model and the painting. The novel was adapted into a 2003 film of the same name and a 2008 play.

<i>The Wine Glass</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

The Wine Glass is a 1660 painting by Johannes Vermeer now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. It portrays a seated woman and a standing man drinking in an interior setting. The work contains the conventions of genre painting of the Delft School developed by Pieter de Hooch in the late 1650s. It contains figures situated in a brightly lit and spacious interior, while its architectural space is highly defined. The figures are set in the middle ground, rather than positioned in the foreground.

Delft School (painting)

The Delft School is a category of mid-17th-century Dutch Golden Age painting named after its main base, Delft. It is best known for genre painting: images of domestic life, views of households, church interiors, courtyards, squares and the streets of that city. Carel Fabritius and Nicolaes Maes are seen as the originators of these localised specialties in the 1640s that were continued in the 1650s by Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer. Vermeer is the most famous of these painters today. The architectural interiors of Gerard Houckgeest, Emanuel de Witte and Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet are also notable contributions. Besides the genres most closely associated with Delft painters, artists in the city continued to produce still life and history paintings, portraits for patrons and the court, and decorative pieces of art that reflect more general tendencies in Dutch art of the period.

Pieter van Ruijven Dutch patron

Pieter Claesz. van Ruijven is best known as Johannes Vermeer's patron for the better part of the artist's career.

<i>Christ in the House of Martha and Mary</i> (Vermeer) painting by Johannes Vermeer

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary is a painting finished in 1655 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is housed in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. It is the largest painting by Vermeer and one of the very few with an overt religious motive. The story of Christ visiting the household of the two sisters Mary and Martha goes back to the New Testament. The work has also been called Christ in the House of Mary and Martha.

<i>Study of a Young Woman</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

Study of a Young Woman is a painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, completed between 1665 and 1667, and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

<i>The Allegory of Faith</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

The Allegory of Faith, also known as Allegory of the Catholic Faith, is a painting created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in about 1670–72. The painting is currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and has been since 1931.

<i>Woman with a Lute</i> 1660s painting of Johannes Vermeer

Woman with a Lute, also known as Woman with a Lute Near a Window, is a painting created about 1662–1663 by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

<i>A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals</i> paiting by Johannes Vermeer

A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals is a painting generally attributed to Johannes Vermeer, though this was for a long time widely questioned. A series of technical examinations from 1993 onwards confirmed the attribution. It is thought to date from c.1670 and is now in part of the Leiden Collection in New York. It should not be confused with Young Woman Seated at a Virginal in the National Gallery, London, also by Vermeer.

<i>Girl with a Red Hat</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

Girl with a Red Hat is a rather small painting, signed by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is seen as one of a number of Vermeer's tronies – depictions of models fancifully dressed that were not intended to be portraits of specific, identifiable subjects. Others believe it is a portrait. Whether Vermeer chose family members as models or found them elsewhere in Delft is irrelevant to the appreciation of his paintings. Its attribution to Vermeer – as it is on a (recycled) wood panel and not on canvas – has been a matter of controversy with scholars on both sides of the argument.

<i>The Geographer</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

The Geographer is a painting created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in 1668–1669, and is now in the collection of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut museum in Frankfurt, Germany. It is closely related to Vermeer's The Astronomer, for instance using the same model in the same dress, and has sometimes been considered a pendant painting to it. A 2017 study indicated that the canvas for the two works came from the same bolt of material.

<i>View of Delft</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

View of Delft is an oil painting by Johannes Vermeer, painted ca. 1660–1661. The painting of the Dutch artist's hometown is among his most popular, painted at a time when cityscapes were uncommon. It is one of three known paintings of Delft by Vermeer, along with The Little Street and the lost painting House Standing in Delft. The use of pointillism in the work suggests that it postdates The Little Street, and the absence of bells in the tower of the New Church dates it to 1660–1661. Vermeer's View of Delft has been held in the Dutch Royal Cabinet of Paintings at the Mauritshuis in The Hague since its establishment in 1822.

<i>The Procuress</i> (Vermeer) painting by Johannes Vermeer

The Procuress is a 1656 oil-on-canvas painting by the 24-year-old Johannes Vermeer. It can be seen in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden. It is his first genre painting and shows a scene of contemporary life, an image of mercenary love perhaps in a brothel. It differs from his earlier biblical and mythological scenes. It is one of only three paintings Vermeer signed and dated.

<i>Mistress and Maid</i> 1666 painting by Johannes Vermeer

Mistress and Maid (c.1667) is a painting produced by Johannes Vermeer, now in the Frick Collection in New York City. The work of Johannes Vermeer, also known as Jan, is well known for many characteristics that are present in this painting. The use of yellow and blue, female models, and domestic scenes are all signatures of Vermeer. This oil on canvas portrays two women, a Mistress and her Maid, as they look over the Mistress' love letter.

<i>Girl with a Flute</i> painting attributed to Johannes Vermeer

Girl with a Flute is a small painting attributed to the Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, executed 1665–1670. The work is in possession of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., just as Woman Holding a Balance, A Lady Writing a Letter and Girl with a Red Hat.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Liedtke, Walter, with Michael C. Plomp and Axel Rüger, Vermeer and the Delft School, pp 369-371; New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001 (catalogue of an exhibition of the same name New York, March 8-May 27, 2001, and at the National Gallery, London, June 20 – September 16, 2001)
  2. Benjamin Binstock Vermeer's Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice 1136087060 2013 p.117 "Vermeer's Girl Asleep, likely from 1656, portrays a young woman seated at a table with her eyes closed, in the .. "

Further reading

Walter Arthur Liedtke, Jr. was an American art historian, writer and Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was known as one of the world's leading scholars of Dutch and Flemish paintings. He died in the 2015 Metro-North Valhalla train crash.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.