Woman Holding a Balance by Johannes Vermeer

Woman Holding a Balance by Johannes Vermeer

The work of the Dutch master is also known as “Evaluation of the measures.” In his picture of the painter Vermeer depicted a young woman in a dark room, standing at the edge of the table. She looks at the pan that holds in his right hand, the left leaning on the countertop. On the table there are three boxes – one – from the scales, box more – for the money, one silver and three gold coins lay on a table, and the biggest box ajar on its lid resting pearl necklace and a massive gold chain.

The thread of pearls with yellow laces and on the table. All together – pearls, money, gold – represent wealth and a vanity, vain pleasures of life. In the left part of the painting is a window, a yellow curtain closed, the same as in the film “Girl, trying on a necklace” and the mirror. Mirror appears only four times in Vermeer’s paintings.

The iconography of the mirrors in the Western painting rather contradictory, but most researchers are inclined to think that it means self-knowledge and a reflection of the truth. All these details are important to understand the basic idea of the picture. Scales in woman’s hands are empty.

She did not weigh any pearls and gold, nor the sins of its own in anticipation of the Last Judgment. It establishes a balance between the pleasures of life and the requirements of the church. And the mirror reflects this truth. It is believed that his wife posed for the painting of Vermeer, Catharina Bolnes. She was a model for others of his paintings:. “The girl with a letter at an open window” and “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter” She has the right beautiful facial features, large eyes, straight nose. When you create pictures Katharine, who was a year older than her husband, it was 32, which corresponds to the age of the woman depicted.

The composition of the painting extremely successful. The combination of strict vertical and horizontal surfaces softened folds of fabric, pattern center – a woman’s hand – is not only geometric, but also a logical center. The direction of the diagonals – picture frames and floor tiles – also converge at this point. Location of objects is subject to semantic content and reflects the mood, but quite naturally in nature. The combination of light and volumes of objects creates a well-balanced, but a dynamic picture of the composition.

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