Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. An Approach to Viewing Vermeer
(Arthur K Wheelock, Jr. ) The Low Countries - 1994, № 2, pp. 175-180
A ‘Vermeer', like a ‘Rembrandt' or a ‘Van Gogh', is something more than a painting. A ‘Vermeer', whether it be a painting of a young girl in a turban, a woman with a watering can, a lady with a balance, or a music lesson, will bring associations with it that transcend any of these specific images. Hidden somewhere within an appreciation of it are memories of other impressions: the quiescence of a woman — deep in thoughts — reading a letter, the soft light effects that play across a woman adjusting her pearl necklace, or the delicate nuances of blues and yellows that transmit the serenity of a woman writing a letter. Vermeer's images, whether of a single figure lost in thought or of a quiet street scene, are intimate ones that remind us of moments or experiences in our lives so fleeting that we were hardly aware of their existence. Vermeer's genius was to capture their beauty and to transmit it to us in a way that we can relate to our own experiences.