Great Art : Vermeer

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The Art of Painting : An Allegory (1666) By Jans Vermeer.

Although not critically acclaimed this has always been my favorite piece by Vermeer . The usual elements of light and shadow are present as the painting becomes a celebration of Art and the Artist. The magnificently rendered curtain draws back to reveal the Artist and sitter as though they are on a stage. Looking beyond the parted curtain, there is a brightly lit studio in which a model is being painted by the artist who sits with his back to the viewer. The room is far more elegant than a regular artist's workshop, with a gold chandelier, fine furnishings, expensive marble floor tiles, and so on. The painting - at roughly 4 feet by 3 feet, his largest - is either an allegory or (perhaps more likely) a celebration of the art of painting. Either way, it must have possessed some unusual significance for Vermeer, who kept the painting until his death in 1675.