Jan Vermer Delftsky: what was a true Workshop of the painter?
Jan Vermer Delftsky whose creativity is perceived as a symbol of blossoming of the Dutch painting of the 17th century, century of youth of the Dutch nation, her self-affirmation became One of the most popular and esteemed European painters of the past . No more than 40 pictures make heritage of the master, but each of them belongs to precious pearls in world art collections. In the history of art it was accepted to call this era in relation to Holland “ Rembrandt and Frans Hals`s century “. Nowadays it is quite often called and “ century of Vermer “ - so deeply, penetrating and completely it was reflected in its artistic images.
Exact date of its birth is unknown, but record about a baptism - remained on October 31, 1632. The father Vermera was a producer of silk for portieres and an upholstery of furniture, the owner of a tavern and the dealer in pictures, and also the member of delftsky guild St. Onions, uniting artists. Jan Vermer was the famous and respected in the city painter who some time headed this guild, but did not inherit commercial talent from the father. There was not enough money from sale of own pictures to support a big family of 11 children.
By the end of life, undergoing financial disorders, Vermer was forced to sell the house - a family nest “ Mechelen “. After death of the artist in December, 1675 the widow, Katerina Volnes, often satisfied the remained debts pictures of the late spouse.
During lifetime of a picture of the master were highly appreciated. Such outstanding representatives of society as a knigopechatnik Jacob Dissius and Antoni van Levenguk, the first opened existence of microorganisms by means of the lenses invented by it were admirers of his talent. The fact that in the will of the artist Levenguk is registered as the executor demonstrates to sympathies of the scientist for Vermer. But there passed several decades, and the name of the delftsky painter was so erased from memory that some dealers in pictures at times replaced the signature on his works by other, better known name, wishing to provide favorable sale.
So proceeded to 2 - y half of the 19th century until the French critic G. Tore - Byurzhe, the tireless propagandist of realistic art, rediscovered his creativity, having glorified the highest art value of heritage “ delftsky sphinx “. So Byurzhe called Vermer, emphasizing the mood of the pacified, mysterious silence reigning in his cloths.
The well-known female images of Vermer are full of thoughtful poetic charm. The brush of the artist conducts the viewer like a footpath in the wood. Peering into objects of cozy, heart-felt life, we open for ourselves the world sublime and surprising which, as if the gleam in dense foliage, allows to see the distant horizons of life, love, reason and spiritual nobility. Vermer as if thinks of paints, influencing sight, heart and mind of the viewer.
Vermer has also other compositions. They belong to the best examples of mature skill too, but are devoted to other subject. It “ Geographer “ (1669) and “ Astronomer “ (1668). Both pictures allow to feel distinctly a spirit of the age - centuries of Great geographical discoveries.
Characters of both compositions are so similar that it seems as if as model served the same model. Also the spiritual spirit of pictures is related. It is light, it is thoughtful - the contemplate atmosphere of scientific search reigning in the modest study which is lit up as always at Vermer, a clear, soft, velvety daylight. The long, sliding patches of light laying down on metal parts of devices, light sinks, dies away pleated clothes, the thinnest veil spreads on a white wall, sticks in carpet patterns.
It seems as if carpet fabric is showered with pearls, the particles of day shine which stiffened in it merged with an ornament are so perceived. Perfect skill of a poetic svetozhivopisa is reached by the artist thanks to numerous experiences with a camera obscura - the predecessor of the camera. This adaptation was used by artists of the XVII-XVIII centuries, helping to record more precisely the represented nature on the plane, to reveal its svetonasyshchennost more in details.
Owing to the sensitivity of the master aggravated, cultivated by long experiments to laws of day lighting the author “ Geographer “ and “ Astronomer “ assimilates to the characters. The geographer counts compasses topographical distances, darting a thoughtful glance in a window, as if beginning to see clearly the huge spaces projected on the card. The astronomer, being verified with the book, examines so-called “ zodiac " globe; ratio of constellations. It is significant that behind his back, on a wall - the image of the bible Moisey who condemned according to a legend, astrologers - “ astrologers “.
The new, experimental astronomy of the 17th century thereby is opposed in a picture to old, pseudoscientific superstitions. The painter in own way comprehends secrets of the universe, turning the small world of the painting, its matter penetrated by light into a mirror of the infinite Universe, hidden, but clearly notable behind windows. At these pictures, especially at “ Geographer “ much in common with the Rembrandt`s engraving known under the name " created for 15 years earlier; Faust “ in which romanticism of scientific search is carried out in an image of light which is mysteriously flowing from a window too.
The image of a map, like that that hangs on a wall in “ Geographer “ - favourite motive of the artist. It symbolically expands space, plowing up it towards to sea winds. In it not only the spirit of the age when small Holland turned into one of the leading forces of the European economy and trade affected. The Dutch merchant ships tirelessly laid new ocean ways, reaching the coast of Australia. Natives of the Netherlands A. Ortely and V. Snellius belong to founders of new cartography, and the younger contemporary of the artist - B. Varenius proved by the first value of geography as independent scientific discipline. Vermerovsky cards personified also one more sense which is closely connected with destinies of the art.
In well-known “ Painter`s Workshop “ glorifying beauty of creative activity, the big map of the Netherlands provinces on a wall is an important detail of an image. She emphasizes related communication of painting and cartography in their uniform aspiration to knowledge of laws of the nature and universe. This communication is based on the strong tradition which is going back to art of the Renaissance.
Documentary data that Ya. Wang - Eyk, A. Duerer, G. Holbein - younger, many other masters of the Northern Renaissance worked and as cartographers remained. So, completely otozhestvly problems of art creativity and cartography, Duerer wrote in “ The Treatise about proportions “: “ Thanks to painting, there was clear a measurement of the earth, waters and stars... “ During Vermer`s era, keeping the Renaissance idea of similarity of ways of art and the science comprehending secrets of the Universe, the painter and the poet Adrian van de Venne glorified favourite craft in significant lines of the book “ Spiritual nightingale “:
Available to paints everything - and wisdom precepts,
I days, both month, and a star, and the planet,
Defects and good, the unions and contentions
Creates the poet a brush, showing our looks
of Tu the internal essence hidden for sight,
That since ancient times there lives our world all creations.
Here, as well as in “ Geographer “ and “ Astronomer “ Vermer, picturesque skill visually finds space scale, competing to sciences about the earth and the sky, and is allocated with the equal rights with literature in the abilities and to show and to metaphorically explain the world.