Museum Paper on Vermeer

Here is the museum assignment that I spoke to you about during class. If you go during the Thanksgiving break, go early and be prepared for long lines.

Museum assignment – Vermeer

(1)Before going to the exhibition, watch the documentary ?Vermeer: Master of Light? (57 min.) to get some background and hear about different aspects of his work and what to look for.

(2) After seeing the documentary, go to see the Vermeer show at the National Gallery of Art. Here is a link that describes the show that you will see.…

The exhibit is called ?Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry,? and features 70 paintings, and ten paintings by Johannes Vermeer, one of the greatest painters of all time. There are only 34 paintings firmly attributed to him in the world! (There are three others in dispute).

This is a rare opportunity to see so many works together of this renowned artist.

(3) Choose one of the ten paintings actually by Vermeer in the exhibition. This is a direct observation paper – you can do research, but the paper should be your analysis of what you actually see looking at the painting.

(4) Make many direct observations looking at the actual painting. Then take photos with your phone (the whole painting and close-ups) to illustrate your points. (When you photograph, do not use your flash – the light is bad for paintings.)

Look at how Vermeer uses color and light, and how he applies paint. What is the mood of the painting and how is that conveyed? How does he compose/ arrange his paintings. Is he close or far from his subjects. Compare his handling of these formal elements with those of his contemporaries. You can refer back to the documentary for inspiration, but the paper should be your own observations in your own words.

Your paper should be well-written, 300-500 words. Put the title of the piece, date, material, and include photos. Be specific in your descriptions and give lots of precise details.

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