Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Picture Study: Themes in Vermeer

UL: WOMAN HOLDING A BALANCE, c. 1622-1665, 16 3/4 x 15 in., National Gallery of Art, Wash. D.C.
UR: THE MILKMAID, c. 1658-1661, 17 7/8 x 16 in. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam;
LL: YOUNG WOMAN WITH A WATER PITCHER c. 1662-1665, 18 x 16 in. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
LR: A LADY WRITING, c. 1665-1666, 17 3/4 x 15 3/4 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

This week we took a different approach to our picture study in that we looked a four paintings from Vermeer instead of just one. We have chosen these four to compare and contrast, particularly in terms of themes, but many more of Vermeer's works could have been chosen. I gave them this collage and had them pick out similar things in each of the pictures. I also asked them what is different in each of them.
We also noted that they are all oil on canvas and that they are all relatively small compared to some of the larger works we have studied in the past. We also talked about Vermeer's use of color and how it was a somewhat limited palette. It is striking when he goes out of the browns and yellows, such as the blue in
The Milkmaid.

I just printed out the collage of the four paintings above in the middle of a sheet of paper, leaving plenty of white space around it to make notes and draw lines. I wrote whatever Quentin said and he drew the lines to point out what he was talking about.
More ideas for studying Vermeer at Jimmie's Squadoo.
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  1. Anonymous8.12.11

    love this. you are an amazing teacher.

  2. The milkmaid has always been one of my favorites - there is something so contemplative about it.

  3. This post is so timely! I've been wanting to study Vermeer but am not finding manageable projects to go along with it for my 7-year-old, so this is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is brilliant to put it in the middle of the picture with room to write around it.


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