Lady Standing at a Virginal

Last updated

Lady Standing at a Virginal
Jan Vermeer van Delft - Lady Standing at a Virginal - National Gallery, London.jpg
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Yearc. 1670–72 [1]
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions51.7 cm× 45.2 cm(20.4 in× 17.8 in) [1]
Location National Gallery, London

Lady Standing at a Virginal is a genre painting created by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in about 1670–1672, now in the National Gallery, London.

Genre painting paintings of scenes or events from everyday life

Genre painting, also called petit genre, depicts aspects of everyday life by portraying ordinary people engaged in common activities. One common definition of a genre scene is that it shows figures to whom no identity can be attached either individually or collectively—thus distinguishing petit genre from history paintings and portraits. A work would often be considered as a genre work even if it could be shown that the artist had used a known person—a member of his family, say—as a model. In this case it would depend on whether the work was likely to have been intended by the artist to be perceived as a portrait—sometimes a subjective question. The depictions can be realistic, imagined, or romanticized by the artist. Because of their familiar and frequently sentimental subject matter, genre paintings have often proven popular with the bourgeoisie, or middle class.

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.

Contents

Description

The oil painting depicts a richly dressed woman playing a virginal in a home with a tiled floor, paintings on the wall and some of the locally manufactured Delftware blue and white tiles of a type that appear in other Vermeer works. [2]

Delftware Type of glazed pottery, originating from the Low Countries

Delftware or Delft pottery, also known as Delft Blue, is a general term now used for Dutch tin-glazed earthenware, a form of faience. Most of it is blue and white pottery, and the city of Delft in the Netherlands was the major centre of production, but the term covers wares with other colours, and made elsewhere. It is also used for similar pottery that it influenced made in England, but this should be called English delftware to avoid confusion.

The identities of the paintings on the wall are not certain, according to the National Gallery, but the landscape on the left may be by either Jan Wijnants or Allart van Everdingen. The second painting, showing Cupid holding a card, is attributed to Caesar van Everdingen, Allart's brother. This motif originated in a contemporary emblem and may either represent the idea of faithfulness to a single lover or perhaps, reflecting the presence of the virginal, the traditional association of music and love. [2]

Jan Wijnants Dutch painter

Jan Jansz Wijnants was a Dutch Golden Age painter.

Cupid Ancient Roman god of desire, affection and erotic love

In classical mythology, Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars. He is also known in Latin as Amor ("Love"). His Greek counterpart is Eros. Although Eros is generally portrayed as a slender winged youth in Classical Greek art, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. In myths, Cupid is a minor character who serves mostly to set the plot in motion. He is a main character only in the tale of Cupid and Psyche, when wounded by his own weapons, he experiences the ordeal of love. Although other extended stories are not told about him, his tradition is rich in poetic themes and visual scenarios, such as "Love conquers all" and the retaliatory punishment or torture of Cupid.

Caesar van Everdingen painter from the Northern Netherlands

Cesar Pietersz, or Cesar Boetius van Everdingen, older brother of Allart van Everdingen and Jan van Everdingen, was a Dutch Golden Age portrait and history painter.

The painting has been dated on stylistic grounds and on the evidence of the costume. This work can be related to another Vermeer in the collection, Lady Seated at a Virginal , [2] on a canvas of almost exactly the same size, with which it may form a pair. A recent study has shown that the canvas for the two paintings came from the same bolt. [3] In addition, the ground applied to the canvas of each painting appears to be identical and also to be shared with the New York Young Woman Seated at the Virginals . [4]

<i>Lady Seated at a Virginal</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

Lady Seated at a Virginal, also known as Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, is a genre painting created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in about 1670–72 and now in the National Gallery, London.

Canvas Extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric

Canvas is an extremely durable plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required, as well as in such fashion objects as handbags, electronic device cases, and shoes. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame.

Bolt (fabric) unit of fabric measurement

A bolt is a unit of measurement used as an industry standard for a variety of materials from wood to canvas, typically materials stored in a roll. Length will vary according to the type of material measured. The length is usually either 40 or 100 yards, but varies depending on the fabric being referred to; for example, a bolt of canvas is traditionally 39 yards (36 m). The width of a bolt is usually 45 or 60 inches, but widths may include 35–36 inches (890–910 mm), 39 inches (990 mm), 41 inches (1,000 mm), 44–45 inches (1,100–1,100 mm), 50 inches (1,300 mm), 52–54 inches (1,300–1,400 mm), 58–60 inches (1,500–1,500 mm) and 66 inches (1,700 mm), 72 inches (1,800 mm), 96 inches (2,400 mm), and 108 inches (2,700 mm).

The painting is depicted in David Hockney's 1977 oil painting 'Looking at Pictures on a Screen'. [5]

David Hockney, is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. As an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

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.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Pieter de Hooch Dutch Golden Age painter

Pieter de Hooch was a Dutch Golden Age painter famous for his genre works of quiet domestic scenes with an open doorway. He was a contemporary of Jan Vermeer in the Delft Guild of St. Luke, with whom his work shares themes and style.

<i>The Little Street</i> Painting by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer

The Little Street is a painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, executed c. 1657–58. It is exhibited at the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, and signed, below the window in the lower left-hand corner, "I V MEER".

<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".

<i>A Lady Writing a Letter</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

A Lady Writing a Letter is an oil painting attributed to 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is believed to have been completed around 1665. The Lady is seen to be writing a letter and has been interrupted, so gently turns her head to see what is happening. She wears twelve pearls.

<i>Girl with a Pearl Earring</i> 1665 painting by Johannes Vermeer, in the collection of the Mauritshuis

Girl with a Pearl Earring is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, dated c. 1665. Going by various names over the centuries, it became known by its present title towards the end of the 20th century after the large pearl earring worn by the girl portrayed there. The work has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902 and has been the subject of various literary treatments. In 2006, the Dutch public selected it as the most beautiful painting in the Netherlands.

<i>The Music Lesson</i> 1662-1665 painting by Jan Vermeer

The Music Lesson, Woman Seated at a Virginal or A Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman by Johannes Vermeer is a painting of a young female pupil receiving a music lesson from a man. The man's mouth is slightly agape giving the impression that he is singing along with the music that the young girl is playing. This suggests that there is a relationship between the two figures and the idea of love and music being bridged together. This was a common theme among Netherlandish art in this time period. Vermeer uses linear perspective and his invention of the camera pictura to create the illusion of space and depth within the setting of the painted room. Vermeer consistently used the same objects within his paintings such as the draped rug, the white water jug, various instruments, tiled floor and windows that convey light and shadows. This is one of few paintings produced by Vermeer which were kept in his home until his death in 1675 when his family was forced to sell them. It became a part of the Royal Collection, and it is currently on display in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London.

<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.

<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>Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid</i> 1670-1671 painting by Johannes Vermeer

Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid is a painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, completed in 1670–1671 and held in the National Gallery of Ireland. The work shows a middle-class woman attended by a housemaid who is presumably acting as messenger and go-between for the lady and her lover. The work is seen as a bridge between the quiet restraint and self-containment of Vermeer's work of the 1660s and his relatively cooler work of the 1670s. It may have been partly inspired by Ter Borch's painting Woman Sealing a Letter. The painting's canvas was almost certainly cut from the same bolt used for Woman with a Lute.

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

The Lacemaker is a painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675), completed around 1669–1670 and held in the Louvre, Paris. The work shows a young woman dressed in a yellow shawl, holding up a pair of bobbins in her left hand as she carefully places a pin in the pillow on which she is making her bobbin lace. At 24.5 cm x 21 cm, the work is the smallest of Vermeer's paintings, but in many ways one of his most abstract and unusual. The canvas used was cut from the same bolt as that used for A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals, and both paintings seem to have had identical dimensions originally.

<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>Young Woman Seated at a Virginal</i> Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal or A Young Woman Seated at a Virginal are alternate titles for two different works of art, neither of which is a copy of the other, both by Johannes Vermeer:

<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>A Girl Asleep</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

A Girl Asleep, also known as A Woman Asleep, A Woman Asleep at Table, and A Maid Asleep, is a painting by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, 1657. 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.

<i>Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window</i> painting by Johannes Vermeer

Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer. Completed in approximately 1657–59, the painting is on display at the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. For many years, the attribution of the painting—which features a young Dutch woman reading a letter before an open window—was lost, with first Rembrandt and then Pieter de Hooch being credited for the work before it was properly identified in 1880. After World War II, the painting was briefly in possession of the Soviet Union. Apparently well-preserved, the painting may have been altered after the painter's death.

<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>The Guitar Player</i> (Vermeer) painting of Johannes Vermeer

The Guitar Player is an oil painting by Dutch Baroque artist Johannes Vermeer, dated c. 1672. This work of art is one of Vermeer's final artistic activities, providing insight into the techniques he mastered and approaches to painting he favored. The painting has been on display at Kenwood House, London since the 1920s, as part of the Iveagh Bequest collection. After being recovered from a theft in 1974, when the painting was held for ransom, The Guitar Player was returned to Kenwood House.

References

  1. 1 2 "Key facts: A Young Woman standing at a Virginal". National Gallery (London) web site. Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2009.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. 1 2 3 "A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal". National Gallery, London web site. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  3. Walter Liedtke; C. Richard Johnson Jr.; Don H. Johnson. "Canvas matches in Vermeer: a case study in the computer analysis of canvas supports" (PDF). Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  4. Sheldon, Libby; Costaras, Nicolas (2006). "Johannes Vermeer's Young Woman Seated at a Virginal". Burlington Magazine. 148: 89–97.
  5. "Looking at Pictures on a Screen" . Retrieved 9 February 2017.