Tag Archives: Vermeer portraits

Who Were The Women in The Paintings of Vermeer?

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Women in the paintings of Vermeer

“Exhaustive research conducted by a wide range of investigators during the 300 years since his death proves that Vermeer had no other studio outside of his home in which to paint.  The logical extension of this fact, inasmuch as Vermeer and his wife Catharina produced 15 children during his short life, what that he must have been constantly, and continually surrounded by his family in the house while he painted!  By extrapolation, is it not obvious, even at the most casual investigation, that the most readily available models for his paintings would be his own family members?   This observation is compounded and ratified by the fact that nearly every one of his surviving paintings features young women as the principle model! 

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that Vermeer worked at home, and that he painted pictures of the women in his own family.

It is clearly documented that Vermeer had 5 daughters old enough to be the women shown in the paintings.  Also, his wife and mother-in-law, are very likely candidates to be women shown in his paintings.  A very thorough comparison of the faces of each of the women shown in his paintings reveals the obvious observation that the same women are being painted again and again. “

— Excerpted from the book, “Vermeer: Portraits of A Lifetime”, by Lawrence R. Spencer

This question, and many other unsolved mysteries of the Vermeer paintings are addressed, with proposed resolutions, in the book, “Vermeer: Portraits of A Lifetime”  (click here to visit the publisher website to learn more.)

ART IS THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF BEAUTY

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Vermeer: Portraits of A Lifetime

I am very sure that my new book, Vermeer: Portraits of A Lifetime, will be considered by many people to be delusional or heretical.  Many will dismiss my observations and comments because they don’t follow the dictates of  “authoritative research” or the opinions of art “experts”.

This book may threaten persons who have a financial vested interest in the Vermeer paintings that still exist today, as their livelihood or financial well-being depend to some degree on the value currently assigned to the paintings.

Although the monetary value of Vermeer’s paintings have been vastly inflated, in part, due to the mystique created by authorities or speculators, it is not my intention to devaluate them. It is not my intention to invalidate property that was sold or bartered by Vermeer and his wife, Catharina, hundreds of years ago.  Quite the contrary.

My intention is to honor the lives of Johannes, Catharina, their eleven surviving children and Maria Thins, his mother-in-law and patroness.

This book does not represent or endorse any financial, spiritual, religious, political organization or practice or philosophy of any kind.  All personal observations and opinions offered by the author herein are purely and solely personal opinions, with no other source than those noted in the footnotes or appendix.

Any and all individuals or organizations from whom research and/or opinions have been borrowed or sited for referential purposes in this book are not affiliated with and do not in any way acknowledge the validity of or endorse the findings or assertions of the author or publisher of this book.

Finally, this book is not intended for people who have a vested interest, or who “know best”.  Personal observations, whether visual, empathetic or conjectural, of the author about the life and death of Vermeer, 300 years after the fact, are wholly subjective.