Museums and Art

“Thrush”, Jan Vermeer - description of the painting

“Thrush”, Jan Vermeer - description of the painting

Thrush - Jan Vermeer. 45.5 x 41 cm

This small-sized picture has been of great interest to spectators and art critics for more than three hundred years. And this means that we have a masterpiece of a work of art created by the Dutch artist Jan Vermeer.

The painting "Milkwoman" was allegedly painted between 1658 and 1661. Jan Vermeer is a master at writing precisely such works - bewitching, suggesting speculation and completing the plan that he shared on the canvas. He did not even give a name to his works, everyone could come up with it and mentally finish the picture. Whether the artist did it on purpose or just such his work style, no one will ever know about it.

It would seem, how can one inspire an observer? After all, the plot of the picture is extremely simple: a minimum of interior and things, and the main character just pours milk from a jug. And yet, everyone who stops near this canvas will definitely have a desire to make out every detail, every item, every fold of clothes and its color, a pouring trickle of milk and a magnificent still life with bread, the face and figure of a stately girl. I’d like to guess what thoughts lurk behind this smooth, flawless forehead, what she’s thinking about, who she is, doing a simple job, but with dignity.

Before us is not just a genre scene, but a “photograph” of the life and traditions of the Netherlands. After all, milk, bread and cheese is the main food for the Dutch. And in order to do just these things in the kitchen, there was a servant - a thrush, whose duties were to take care of the preparation of dairy dishes, cottage cheese, butter, monitor the cleanliness of filter fabrics and utensils.

On the canvas stately, radiating health and youth, a girl. White cap, white milk and a white wall - all this does not merge into a single background, but is skillfully highlighted by the author in different shades.

Clothing made of warm but coarse fabric fits nicely on the figure. Bright ultramarine spots stand out for an apron and fabric hanging from the table. Blue color can be called special and beloved in Vermeer's work. Perhaps it is thanks to him that a simple maid gets such an attractive look.

All the objects depicted in the picture can be listed on the fingers, so they are few. But all of them have their purpose in everyday life - a porcelain jug on the table, food baskets, a “heating pad”, in which there are coals, for heating a cold kitchen.

The thrush is neatly and concentratedly “sacred” - a thin, white, milk stream flows into a wide bowl; daylight penetrates through the window, emphasizing the splendor and nostril of fresh bread. The girl's face of the Madonna is clean, chaste, with the right features. Her posture and slight inclination of her head are full of dignity and confidence.

The artist’s painting is just a joy for the eyes, so it blows from her home comfort, warmth and calm. Jan Vermeer is a painter-psychologist, because in his work everything is simple and, at the same time, significantly - from the selection of a model, coloristics, construction of a composition to its brilliant performance.


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