Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Every Thursday, as part of my personal “enriched environment” initiative, I post a piece of art, usually from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which recently released online some 400,000 high-resolution images of its collection.  All artwork will show a sun (or sunlight) somewhere. 

I won’t name the piece or the artist, but instead invite you to study the art and post a comment addressing one or more of these questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

If you have another idea, run with it.

Special Update!  The New York Times website does this same exercise every Monday with a news photo that is uncaptioned and contains no text (click!).  The Times asks viewers the same three questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

However, at the end of the week, the Times posts the background information on the picture.  So, I’ve decided to do the same.  I’ll still post an unlabeled piece of art on Thursday.  But return on Sunday (for the Sunny Sundays post!) and you’ll find an update on the artwork here.

Note:  To embiggen the image, click on it! 



Woman with a Lute

Artist: Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)

Date: ca. 1662–63

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 20 1/4 x 18 in. (51.4 x 45.7 cm)

A young woman wearing an ermine-trimmed jacket and a large pearl earring looks eagerly out the window while tuning a lute. The viola da gamba on the floor and songbooks on the table anticipate company. The figure is set within counterpoised rectangles, but Vermeer’s subtle light and shadows draw a veil over the calculated design. The picture is abraded, especially in the foreground, where the paint has also darkened with age.

About The Author: Bruce

5 Comments

  1. Jan
    Reply

    She’s tuning her lute or whatever that is and looking out the window, anticipating her lover’s arrival.

  2. Stephon
    Reply

    The map on the wall say “Europa” so I think this means the location of the painting is Italy. The high ceilings tell me this is a wealthy person’s house. A wealthy person is able to play a musical instrument while sitting at leisure by the window and glancing outside. The look on her face indicates to me that she is happily waiting for someone to arrive, and she’s tuning her musical instrument to be able to entertain her/him/them. The soft sunlight coming in through the window illuminates her face the most. It’s glowing more than anything else in the picture, kind of like the horse’s buttocks in the picture last week. Much of this room is dark or dim. but looking out the window and into the light brings on a positive feeling.

  3. Amy
    Reply

    The room is dismal and gray, with the only hope being someone or something outside the window.

  4. Inez
    Reply

    Parking Shadows.

  5. Collin
    Reply

    So the map is on the wall, she’s looking out the window, she’s tuning her guitar….This lady wants to travel with a rock and roll band !!!

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