Small art quiz

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NorthAmerican
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Small art quiz

Post by NorthAmerican » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:28 am

I think that most of us would recognize immediately one of this artist's paintings, which I discovered only today was one of only three that he dated. Some of us might recognize one of his most famous paintings, but I don't want the quiz to end this early, so first I show you only two views of the same detail. The one on the left is unmarked, the one on the right has rectangles superimposed on the image, each identified with a letter of the alphabet. Art critics have been searching for something in the painting that was mentioned by the artist Bergotte, a character in a 20th century work of fiction. Bergotte had attended an exhibition of works by the artist who is the subject of this quiz, and as he is dying soon after he mentions something he saw in the painting, but dies without saying where it was. (The author who created the fictional artist Bergotte had been to that exhibition of paintings, and critics think that he has his character speak the author's own reaction to seeing the painting.)

Image Image

What had Bergotte seen in the painting?

I mentioned above that only three of the artist's paintings are dated. Two of them have as their subject only one male, and as such are the only two paintings by this artist to show a single male, although it is possible that similar works may not have survived over the more than 300 years since this artist was active.

Image Image

Do you recognize these two paintings? Can you name them?

Much more common in the artist's rather small output are paintings of young girls and adult women. often alone but sometimes as part of a group that may include males and females. Here are examples of solo females:

ImageImage Image Image

Yes, that last one was the painting that most of us would recognize immediately, The Girl With the Pearl Earring.

Oh, and the painting from which a detail led off the quiz, look no further:

Image

Now, if you haven't already named him, who was the artist?
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korgy
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by korgy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:31 am

is this a joke? the National Gallery in DC has a room with some his best works
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by VinnyD » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:45 am

You should have stopped with the detail from the View of Delft. (Which I would have gotten right.)

Is Bergotte in Proust?

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NorthAmerican
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by NorthAmerican » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:55 am

korgy wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:31 am
is this a joke? the National Gallery in DC has a room with some his best works
Definitely not a joke. Does everyone here know what you know? Has everyone here seen them?

To VinnyD: Yes, Bergotte was a character created by Proust. It was Proust who suffered a sudden and severe attack of dizziness as he was looking at Vermeer's View of Delft, and Bergotte's fascination with a "little patch of yellow wall" was probably also Proust's own.
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by Scrubb » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:44 am

I don't have a really clear picture of Vermeer's works, in that I don't look at them and say "That's a Vermeer" like I can with many other artists, but all of those paintings of women are really familiar, as is the one on the left of the 2 pictures of men. The man with the globe is not so familiar. I also didn't know the View of Delft picture, or the Proust story.

Enjoyed it, thanks NA.
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VinnyD
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:54 am

There are less than 40 known Vermeers, so it isn't difficult to get a handle on his work.

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by 2wilzgood » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:02 pm

Fewer?
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by erkat » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:11 pm

I did look at the paintings of the men and immediately think they were by a Dutch artist. Well, think was even the wrong word -it was one of those instinctive replies. So at a guess I had seen them before and knew them.

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:24 pm

2wilzgood wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:02 pm
Fewer?
Silly made up rule. See here
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NorthAmerican
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by NorthAmerican » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:21 pm

Thanks for the "thanks," Scrubb. The first time I came across all of Vermeer's known works was about 20 years ago, when I saw them at a Web site where they were reproduced in high-definition images. Until then, the only painting I knew was Vermeer's view of Delft, and that was because I'd read Proust in the late 1960s or so.

"20 years ago" means I was 60 when I happened upon that Web site, so I was a philistine about Vermeer for a good part of my adult life. I hoped my post would spare at least one person from that same fate.
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by DCComic » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:26 pm

2wilzgood wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:02 pm
Fewer?
Had to be done.
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:04 pm

In the fall of 1995 there was a Vermeer exhibit at the National Gallery in DC that had about 24 of the 34 known Vermeers. (The Lady in the Red Hat above is in the NGA's permanent collection.j They extended their hours and I went on Friday after work; it really wasn't crowded. Shortly after that, Newt Gingrich shut down the federal government, including the NGA. There was kind of a panic when it was realized that the 21 or so borrowed Vermeers would have to be sent back on schedule. Something was worked out, maybe corporate sponsorship, but there had been such an amount of publicity that the exhibit was thereafter crammed with people. I had lucked out.

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by snowgirl » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:45 pm

I saw this documentary a while ago that I found fascinating. I don't know if this is how Vermeer painted but I love his work either way.


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Re: Small art quiz

Post by shilgia » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:54 pm

Window on the left, light filtering in and onto person on the right, who is looking at or using a map or instrument or other 'worldly' object = Vermeer's shtick, so a dead giveaway.

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by DCComic » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:58 pm

snowgirl wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:45 pm
I saw this documentary a while ago that I found fascinating. I don't know if this is how Vermeer painted but I love his work either way.
I remember that.
The film misses a trick that rubbishes the theory.
Light reflecting from a point on an object changes continuously. Vermeer could have perfected the layout and perspective of his paintings that way but it couldn't work to match reflected light to paint tones over time.
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by twodogs » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:01 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image
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VinnyD
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by VinnyD » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:04 pm

The light comes from the right in the Lady in a Red Hat. Versatile!

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by korgy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:20 pm

NA, thanks for the anecdote about Proust's Bergotte being taken with a "petit pan de mur jaune" (little patch of yellow wall) in the Delft painting. this is one of those puzzles that some scholars like to obsess over precisely because there will never be an answer --given that the character dies, and Proust is dead. it's probably A -- which you posted above
..it is a little wall
...its color is yellow
...it is with a sloping roof
...it is precious like a work of Chinese art
http://www.essentialvermeer.com/proust/ ... 0jPV7iIzwI

but if we knew it was simply A, some people would not be interested. the fact that Proust appreciated small patches of painting in Vermeer is enough for me
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by VinceFoster » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:33 pm

My initial exposure to Vermeer came to me via the Commodore Amiga 500.
A30FF8AD-80B0-4BC5-9E3D-C2D6354F1181.png
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by k2w3 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:43 pm

5 years old or under.
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by mishmish » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:58 pm

I discovered Vermeer when in Jr. high school. The school library had one of those book series of maybe 10 artists and Vermeer was one of them. I spent probably half of my 9th grade recesses in the library staring hypnotized and thrilled by these Vermeer reproductions. Totally visceral. (=> weird teenager). This was a few decades before the movie about the pearl earring girl made Vermeer a widely known thing.

The position in studio of the two males is identical to a number of his paintings.

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by korgy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:05 am

mishmish wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:58 pm
The position in studio of the two males is identical to a number of his paintings.
what does this mean?
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Re: Small art quiz

Post by mishmish » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:06 am

korgy wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:05 am
mishmish wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:58 pm
The position in studio of the two males is identical to a number of his paintings.
what does this mean?
Compare the background of the following paintings:
The astronomer
The geographer
The music lesson
Girl readibg a letter by an open window
Officer with laughing girl

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Re: Small art quiz

Post by mishmish » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:36 pm

.

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