“Such art reinforces human dignity”*…
For a growing number of twenty-first-century viewers the paintings of Johannes Vermeer reserve some of the most profound insights into the nature of human existence that a work of art can provide. The artist’s ability to side-step didactic finger-wagging and picturesque anecdote, both quintessential characteristics of Dutch painting of the Golden Age, is unique, as are the formal perfection of his compositions and his precise but powerful painting technique. His few themes–letter writing, letter reading, courtship, domestic chores, and scientific inquiry—appear pertinent to today’s museum goers as to those Dutch women and men who gazed upon his deceptively simple pictures 350 years ago.
The primary goal of the Essential Vermeer website is to take full advantage of the extraordinary potential of the World Wide Web and Internet Technology in order to provide a thorough and organic presentation of the art, life and cultural milieu of Vermeer. Complex art historical issues are dealt with in a straightforward manner so that they become comprehensible to the curious art lover without losing their value for inquiring writers or art specialists. News of Vermeer-related exhibitions, publications and multi-media events are reported in real time.
All (and I do mean all) about Dutch master: The Essential Vermeer
* Great art, for those who insist upon this rather philistine concept (as if un-great art were unworthy of even their most casual and ill-informed attention), makes us stand back and admire. It rushes upon us pell-mell like the work of Rubens or Tintoretto or Delacroix, or towers above us. There is of course another aesthetic: the art of a Vermeer or a Braque seeks not to amaze and appal but to invite the observer to come closer, to close with the painting, peer into it, become intimate with it. Such art reinforces human dignity.
– Germaine Greer. The Obstacle Race (1979)
As we light up, we might spare a thought for Franz Marc; he died on this date in 1916. A painter and printmaker, he was one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement, and a founder of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.