Everything is true in this painting. The colour, the light, the shades, the tones.
Johannes Vermeer’s Milkmaid is not a representation of reality. It is a form. To make things more difficult, it is a form distinctive for this artist and only him. How could it be true?
Generally speaking, the concept of truth in art is challenging to figure out.
The essence of art
If you are actually into Vermeer, you probably know all 38 paintings attributed to him. You looked at them to get to know the details, studied and examined. In the process, your mind sets up the essence of Vermeer’s art.
However, the truthfulness of The Milkmaid is more complicated than individual qualities that make Vermeer’s art what it is. All that matters is the connection between them.
The truth in connection
True to the core is the harmony between colour and light. And the lines seamlessly becoming the whole composition. The moment captured by the painter is perfectly timed but also timeless. The scene is still but in motion.
Such a connection between elements of painting makes Vermeer’s Milkmaid a masterpiece. The simple act of pouring milk gets elevated to praise of the moment.
Distance that matters
The painting is relatively small (18 x 16 in. or 45.5 × 41 cm). It forces a viewer to come close, very close to see the details. And then, what we have observed from a distance as the complete scene becomes a pure form.
Bread on the table transforms into a sequence of dots in almost pointillist style. The part which appears from a perspective as a woman’s face, from up close transforms into complex interplay between skin hues, shades and light.
There is also tiny white line along maid’s figure from the top of the bonnet down to the bottom of blue apron. Its presence has nothing to do with the reproduction of reality. It is a purely formal measure to highlight the contrast between the figure and the wall.
Vermeer art prints
Close encounters with that kind of the highest level art are sheer joy. Our collection of 16 Vermeer art prints allows to decorate the entire house and to get acquainted with his complex art at the most intimate and detailed scale.
Vermeer’s paintings were made to be admired this way. In private and at peace, in the comfort of your own home.