Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (Vermeer)

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Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
Johannes (Jan) Vermeer - Christ in the House of Martha and Mary - Google Art Project.jpg
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Year 1655
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 160 cm× 142 cm(63 in× 56 in)
Location Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

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. [1] The work has also been called Christ in the House of Mary and Martha (reversing the last two names). [2]

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. Together with 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.

Edinburgh City and council area in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

Contents

Painting materials

The pigment analysis of this painting [3] reveals the use of the pigments of the baroque period such as madder lake, yellow ochre, vermilion and lead white. Vermeer did not paint the robe of Christ with his usual blue pigment of choice ultramarine (see for example The Milkmaid ) but with a mixture of smalt, indigo and lead white. [4]

Baroque cultural movement, starting around 1600

The Baroque is a highly ornate and often extravagant style of architecture, music, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It followed the Renaissance style and preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles. It was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture, art and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, movement, exuberant detail, deep colour, grandeur and surprise to achieve a sense of awe. The style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome, then spread rapidly to France, northern Italy, Spain and Portugal, then to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an even more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century.

Vermilion color

Vermilion is both a brilliant red or scarlet pigment, originally made from the powdered mineral cinnabar, and the name of the resulting color. It was widely used in the art and decoration of Ancient Rome, in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, in the paintings of the Renaissance, as sindoor in India, and in the art and lacquerware of China.

Ultramarine A deep blue color pigment which was originally made with ground lapis lazuli

Ultramarine is a deep blue color pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th centuries.

See also

Martha biblical figure

Martha of Bethany is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Mary of Bethany, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. She was witness to Jesus resurrecting her brother, Lazarus.

Mary of Bethany figure described in the Gospels of John and Luke; sister of Lazarus and Martha, living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem; traditionally identified with Mary Magdalene

Mary of Bethany is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of John and Luke in the Christian New Testament. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Martha, she is described by John as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem; in Luke only the two sisters, living in an unnamed village, are mentioned. Most Christian commentators have been ready to assume that the two sets of sisters named as Mary and Martha are the same, though this is not conclusively stated in the Gospels, and the proliferation of New Testament "Marys" is notorious.

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.

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References

  1. Luke 10:38–42 Bible New International Version (NIV)
  2. Liedtke, Walter; Michiel C. Plomp and Axel Ruger (2001). Vermeer and the Delft School, New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 363 and throughout. ISBN   0-87099-973-7.
  3. Kühn, Hermann (1968). "A Study of the Pigments and Grounds Used by Jan Vermeer". Reports and Studies in the History of Art: 154–202.
  4. Johannes Vermeer, 'Christ in the House of Martha and Mary', Colourlex