Sunday, March 21, 2010

At the Frick

The fingers curl in delicate gesture, keeping a secret. A gold chain necklace hangs out of view.  A  sleeve has textured embroidery on the cuff. The girl gazes serenely.  How different these details are from  other portraits of Rembrandt.  

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606–1669), Girl at a Window, 1645

 What are the glass objects just near the maid's hands?  The mistress seems dressed to go out, yet she is also engaged in some household business, something looking like the settling of the accounts.  The maid has just brought in a fresh receipt, or invoice.  A question remains unanswered.

 Johannes Vermeer
Mistress and Maid, 1666-1667

 The velvet's black shadowy plush invites you to touch it.  The green, black, brown, and red contrast, drawing attention to the saint's face with his pursuit of rigor and truth and justice. 

Sir Thomas More, 1527 
Hans Holbein the Younger 

 Again, such expert use of color contrasts.
And such piggy little eyes. How could anyone trust a man with a face like this? 

Thomas Cromwell, 1532
Hans Holbein the Younger

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