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Johann Vermeer La lettura del bel libro di Tracy Chevalier, “La ragazza con l’orecchino di perle” (Neri Pozza, editore, Vicenza 2000) mi ha fatto venir.

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Presentazione sul tema: "Johann Vermeer La lettura del bel libro di Tracy Chevalier, “La ragazza con l’orecchino di perle” (Neri Pozza, editore, Vicenza 2000) mi ha fatto venir."— Transcript della presentazione:

1 Johann Vermeer La lettura del bel libro di Tracy Chevalier, “La ragazza con l’orecchino di perle” (Neri Pozza, editore, Vicenza 2000) mi ha fatto venir voglia di cercare i quadri di Johann Vermeer (Delft, ivi, 1675). Eccone alcuni, dopo due note biografiche

2 Note biografiche (Delft ) Figlio di un mercante d'arte, Vermeer si formò a contatto con le opere antiche e dipinse per pochi intimi. Ritrasse soprattutto scene di vita domestica, spesso le attività quotidiane. La composizione delle scene è semplice: lo spazio è definito da pochi piani e da una luce intensa e radente; le diverse zone di colore sono usate in modo da contrapporre toni caldi a toni freddi. Il risultato finale è un'immagine che evoca il senso del mistero e una sorta di attesa che ci trasmette una straordinaria ricchezza emotiva. Dimenticato per circa 200 anni, Vermeer fu riscoperto nella seconda metà del diciannovesimo secolo. Oggi è considerato uno dei più grandi maestri della pittura olandese. Grande pittore olandese è anche Jan Vermeer (Delft, ivi, 1675). A parte alcuni paesaggi, dipinse interni di vita borghese, prediligendo le scene domestiche più comuni, i piccoli avvenimenti della giornata di una donna. La sua caratteristica è quella di rendere la tranquillità dell'atmosfera da cui è circondato, con poche figure, spesso una sola, intenta alla lettura o a occupazioni casalinghe. Egli rappresenta con precisione la realtà. La tecnica è molto raffinata: colori inediti giocati sull'accostamento di toni caldi e freddi, una materia ora traslucida ora untuosa che rende l'impressione dell'oggetto, la pennellata è spesso in piccole gocce per rendere la superficie e la riflessione di luce. Caratteristica è la fonte luminosa che vivifica gli interni. Infatti nei suoi quadri c'è qualcosa di vibrante, che rende vivo l'ambiente pacato e silenzioso ove vivono le figure (la luce che penetra da una finestra, posta per lo più a sinistra o fuori dell'inquadratura. Una luce morbida, resa con piccole pennellate punteggiate).

3 […] These brothel scenes, or Bordeeltje, were popular at the time as a response to an increasingly prudish, puritan ethos. The original derivation is a depiction of the Prodigal Son, frittering away his money on whores, with the contrast being the mercy and forgiveness of the loving father. The fascinating theme of the brothel quickly evolved to be an independent genre. […] The theme is that the evils of money and alcohol have combined. In addition to the woman's bright yellow jacket, the wine has brought color to the her cheeks. She nestles contentedly into the arm of the red-jacketed soldier who is offering a coin, but also seems to be ready to flip the coin or to hide it in his hand. The woman, the soldier, and the brilliant rug are center-stage, but also, at the right, are two dark, ambiguous figures, with the dark draped jacket below. Lubricating the transaction is the androgenous onlooker in black, the procuress. The figure at the left has the self-conciousness of a self-portrait. If so, this the only picture of Vermeer in existence. This grinning figure is perhaps toasting with us, ready to celebrate the fun. La mezzana (1656)

4 Fanciulla che legge una lettera presso la finestra (1657)
In this quiet, reflective, inward-looking painting, a table and curtain separate us from the well-dressed young woman reading a letter. The large green curtain may be intended as part of the scene, or it may be a trompe d'oeil to look like the painting has a physical curtain to cover it, as was popular in Dutch households at the time. She is enclosed also by the horizontality of the curtain rail and the deep shadow at the top of the picture. This enclosure and separation provide intimacy: she is alone in an unguarded moment, unviolated by the intrusion of the viewer. Fanciulla che legge una lettera presso la finestra (1657)

5 Giovane donna assopita (1657)

6 La stradina ( )

7 La lattaia ( )

8 La signora col bicchiere di vino (1658-60)
A man swathed in darkness holds a pitcher of wine, while watching an elegantly dressed woman drink. She is wearing a silk dress with gold edging, and her face is partially hidden by her headscarf and by the glass itself, almost like a mask. The two have been playing music, a theme often associated with love. This is a subdued, careful painting of elegant people in an elegant room with a gold-framed landscape on the wall. […] So it seems that a seduction is taking place, with wine as the lubricant. Could it be that the man is Vermeer, at least symbolically, and the woman is Jannetje, wife of his neighbor? La signora col bicchiere di vino ( )

9 A shy, nervous young woman is well-dressed in exquisitely rendered red silk with gold brocade. She looks to the viewer with a smiling, unsure expression, while a smooth, confident gentleman encourages her to drink. The window shows the arms of Jannetje Vogel, who married Vermeer's neighbor, Moses Nederveen. Surrounding the arms is the figure of a woman holding a horse's bridle in one hand, an image of temperance. The window is identical to that in The Glass of Wine, another exhortation of Temperance. The painting on the back wall is of a dignified man in a lace collar, presumably the master of the house, looking down on his wife hesitantly beginning an affair. A shodowy figure seated at the back is ambiguous: perhaps he is the match and the man in the center is the matchmaker, or perhaps he is a chaperone who has abrogated his duty. La coquette ( )

10 Veduta di Delft ( )

11 La ragazza interrotta (1661)
[…] the momentary movement is derived from an interruption, as a man enfolds the girl. He is ambiguous, either teacher or lover, trying to draw her attention to a letter, yet she is looking at us, not him, her expression quizzical. In the foreground is a chair with a comfortable cushion, and we may decide to sit on the chair or not. While love is symbolized by music, on the wall is a painting of Cupid holding a bow and a card […]. On the table, with the musical instrument (a cittern), is a pitcher and a glass of wine; perhaps he has been drinking the wine, or perhaps he is trying to dissuade her from music so that she can drink with him. La ragazza interrotta (1661)

12 La lezione di musica (1662-65)
This famous painting was executed by Vermeer at the height of his powers. The formal, almost abstract, composition is presented as patterns of color and shape, but at the same time the ambiguity of the human relationship draws us in. The perfectly rendered window provides a frame at the left, and the spare horizontality of the roof-beams frames the picture at the top. […] The woman playing the clavecin has her back to us, so that we see composition and human relationship rather than her face. But she is reflected in the mirror above her. The real and reflected heads are not consistent: in the mirror she seems to be turning towards the man. It has been suggested that the mirror shows part of the artist's easel, drawing us into the picture in a very explicit way. […] On the clavecin, there is an inscription, Musica Letitiae Comes Medicina Dolorum, […]. At lower right is a richly decorated oriental carpet, anchoring the eye and providing a separation between viewer and subjects, on it is the familar, prominent white pitcher, which may contain wine; are we to conclude that the couple are about to descend into sin, lubricated by demon drink? La lezione di musica ( )

13 Ragazza che scrive ( )

14 Donna con liuto (1663)

15 Donna in blu ( )

16 Donna con collana di perle (1664)

17 La donna con la brocca (1664-65)

18 Ragazza con turbante rosso (1665)
Here is one of the most famous Vermeers: a beautiful young woman, sensual, expectant, emotionally engaging […]. The light falls from above, shading the girl's eyes, so that only her cheek and nose are illuminated. This has the same effect as a veil, increasing our curiosity by mystery. Part of the appeal of the painting stems from the bizarre color palette, with red and green on the face, purple under the red hat, turquoise in the eyes, and yellow highlights on the folds of the blue robe. This painting is on a wood panel, making the painting smoother and more lustrous than the absorptive canvas of Vermeer's other paintings. Ragazza con turbante rosso (1665)

19 Ragazza con orecchino di perla (1665-66)

20 Donna con bilancia ( )

21 Il quadro alla parete è il medesimo che in “Giovane signora alla spinetta” (vedi)
Il concerto ( )

22 L’arte della pittura (1666-67)

23 La padrona e la serva (1666-67)

24 Ritratto di giovane signora (1667)

25 Militare con fanciulla che sorride (1668)
A dark, large soldier in a large hat seems almost too large as he faces the smiling, innocent girl, who is bathed in light and nervously holding the wine-glass in front of her. Contrast between the figures is established by scale, color, mood and attitude. The figures are very close to the picture plane, like a wide-angle lens, emphasizing the differences in size and power between the figures. The vanishing point is midway between the two heads, emphasizing their bond. This picture may have been painted with a Camera Obscura, a newly invented optical device for projecting a scene onto a flat surface. […] Militare con fanciulla che sorride (1668)

26 L’astronomo (1668)

27 Il geografo ( )

28 La merlettaia ( )

29 La lettera d’amore ( )

30 Signora che scrive una lettera in presenza della domestica (1670)

31 La ragazza con la chitarra (1672)

32 Giovane signora alla spinetta (1672-73)
The most ambiguous and fascinating aspect of this painting is, however, the subject of the prominent painting on the wall, which is Dirck van Baburen's The Procuress, depicting the point-of-sale transaction where a prostitute is bought. Why should a painting of sin be next to this innocent-looking young woman playing music? Giovane signora alla spinetta ( )

33 Crediti Le immagini sono tratte random, prevalentemente da siti internet. Le note sono di Roy Williams Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA, e dalla sua Vermeer Clickable Map. Visitatela, ci sono molte più informazioni di quante io ne abbia riportate qui.

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