The Little Street, By Johannes Vermeer (1657-58)
Art of the Night
the little street
Wow. Just - wow.
I know some people prefer abstractness in their art, or even the blurry impressions of Monet and others, but for me when a piece of art approaches near photo realism, that's what knocks my socks off. This piece is fabulous - a mundane scene captured just beautifully. I love the colors and tones - and the texture of the bricks in the building walls.
Very nice. You da man, Alex. I love these afternoon art posts, along with the movie review posts. This site is addicting.
See, I see all sorts of abstraction here. Compositionally, at least. Look at the brilliant way he creates the sense of space behind the woman in the alley. The white above the door, and then white behind her. That's such little room on the canvas but suggest so much. Not that that is abstract, just freakin' stunning!
 That's exactly what I focused on, straight off. Actually, both women in doorways could be subjects on their own. The light and space are just fantastic.
I have to give Alex credit for turning me on to Vermeer. He wasn't much more than a name in a book to me previous to AB's hearty endorsement a couple years back.
That painting does not look to me like a 17th century work. If you told me that it was 19th or 20th, I would believe you. "Pearl Earring" and "Milkmaid" certainly have a different look to my admittedly non-painterly (I'm a photographic hobbyist) eye.
Holy smokes, that's gorgeous! I love the sense of depth, the women,being the known and the building tops, the unknown. The quiet in the mundane is palpable. Nice choice, AB.
I too like representational art, but once learned, an artist looks to do more than to show off his mastery. I'm with Alex on this. Vermeer doesn't let the arbitrary unrelated decisions of the architect, builder, painter or washer woman dictate what his picture will look like the way a photograph does. Vermeer is in complete control here. The shapes, and values are painstakingly thought out and carfully placed to lead your eye around the canvas but not leave, always leading back to where the master compels us to look. This is a brilliant painting composed of unimportant representational components, the sum of which are far greater than their parts. This is an abstract painting.
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