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A Painting without Genre: Meaning in Jan Vermeer's The Girl with the Wine Glass
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Art History.
2009 (English)In: Konsthistorisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0023-3609, E-ISSN 1651-2294, Vol. 78, no 2, 77-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article claims that Jan Vermeer's painting The Girl with the Wine Glass (Braunschweig) is a challenge of the pictorial codes of the period and also a challenge relating to awareness of human conditions. The subject matter adhers to low ranking but popular "genre" painting in the "familiar" style. Without inventing new narrative elements Vermeer, however, installs the subject matter in a totally new and bewildering "modern" way, in using perspective, scale, contrast to defined pictorial codes, and in an open address to the beholder. The laugh and the presumed returned gaze of the girl eventually turn into glazed immobility containing desperation, maybe - opening up unexpected meaning and an address to the beholder with emotional quality and insistence on awareness of human risks and of "modern" painting as visually potent sign-functions installing present life as open ended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxon, Stockholm: Routledge Taylor & Francis , 2009. Vol. 78, no 2, 77-91 p.
Keyword [en]
Interpretation, Vermeer, Seventeenth century art, Aesthetics
National Category
Art History
Research subject
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29600DOI: 10.1080/00233600802686556ISI: 000268578300002OAI: diva2:234388
Available from: 2009-09-08 Created: 2009-09-08 Last updated: 2015-10-07Bibliographically approved

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Rossholm Lagerlöf, Margaretha
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