Vermeer The Generic Scenes– Part Eight

Vermeer The Generic Scenes– Part Eight January 24, 2018


This painting, ‘woman with a balance’, is one of our Russian daughter Yuliya’s favorites. As we have noted previously there is a moral quality to many of Vermeer’s paintings, this one with a woman who is weighing important matters in her life. Notice the painting in the background of the Last Judgment, the ultimate weighing of human actions. The woman in the foreground has an empty balance, she is not weighing coins or the like, she is weighing things on her conscience. One of the real values of this particular exhibit is that the Gallery had bothered to collect paintings of other generic scenes involving women by other Dutch painters. It turns out that the scenes Vermeer painted were mostly stock scenes, but he invested moral qualities into them. And when comparing Vermeer to other painters of of his period and locale, he is clearly the great master of his craft. The other paintings are rather mundane in comparison.

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