Monday, October 19, 2009

At the Metropolitan Museum until the end of November is Vermeer's The Milkmaid on loan from the Rijksmuseum by Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675). To celebrate this loan, the Metropolitan Museum will present Vermeer’s Masterpiece The Milkmaid, a special exhibition that will bring together all five paintings by Vermeer from its collection.

Curator Walter Liedtke discusses the painting in a podcast. The subject is a kitchen servant
pouring milk from a jug into a bowl. On the table is bread which she may be making into bread porridge, a staple of Dutch diet. The woman seems to be smiling and musing about something else. To the lower right are a series of delft tiles and in front of her is a Cupid figure. The footwarmer is a symbol of amorous intentions. But Vermeer uses this artistic tradition to suggest what is in the mind of the milkmaid.

The soft focus and naturalistic daylight is striking. The viewer sees the daylight and the light through the crack in the window outside with the grainy bread on the table.

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