1600 – 1700
The Baroque

Vermeer's Young Woman with a Water Pitcher

Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, oil on canvas, c. 1662
(Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker, Dr. Beth Harris


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Angelique Nehmzow wrote on Saturday, April 03, 2010

The following links you posted were really wonderful thank you! - In-depth study: Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance - Vermeer's The Music Lesson

Sarah C wrote on Tuesday, March 05, 2013

I have always found Vermeer’s work fascinating, yet challenging. It is hard for me to look at this painting with anything other than a Feminist perspective. Everything about this painting screams “classic example of a domestic woman.” As mentioned in the video, the woman is shown opening a window, perhaps about to water some flowers. The video also draws attention to her dainty hands, symbolizing femininity. She is in solitude, although it seems like a faint smile is crossing her lips. I believe that Vermeer’s intention was to portray a woman who is in love with the domestic. I find that the video romanticizes this notion by talking about a renewed love for the everyday, a love for the beauty around us, finding the divinity in everyday tasks. Instead, I find it impossible to ignore the fact that even her clothing envelops her, literally subduing her character even more than already possible. Although I find myself intrigued by Vermeer’s work, I cannot help but compare this painting with 1950’s advertisements portraying good, domestic, housewives in love with their new vacuums.

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