Vermeer's visual allegory, The Allegory of Painting
We've pulled the hangings to one side. Perhaps
we're spying on this quasi-studio -
to wondering what's going on inside.
The artist dare not show his face - artist
is just persona for the act? He's posed
the model as his Muse of History
complete with trumpet and a laurel crown
of fame and victory. The artist, too,
is wearing costume from a bygone age.
What sort of studio boasts tiles like these?
What sort of studio a chandelier -
with double-headed Hapsburg Eagle there
displayed? For what the map of Holland and
the mask? Death mask, perhaps? Or artist's face?
The unknown future face of history?
In case, dear readers, you are still in doubt:
What sort of studio contains no paints?
Here, an allegory that no one's cracked.
Very clever, Dave!
how interesting dave...i will have to sit and study this picture to see what i can come up with...def a clever take on the prompt...
A clever write Dave. I'm intrigued with the painting now :)
Hi Dave - yes, a very clever take on the prompt - and Vermeer here always seems to me to be almost too clever by half! You know I have a book of altar pieces - "prayer in code" with all the little tells and signs--such an interesting period. Vemeer a bit bigger in his symbology--putting himself there too. So interesting. I especially like the emphasis on the tiles! k.
Nice one. A bit like those puzzle pictures you can study for the deliberate mistake :)
Thank you for bringing this to the forefront of my attention this morning, all the intrigue about meaning and what happened to the painting after his death is fascinating. Wicked wit, like nested bowls, this allegory of painting in an allegorical poetry prompt.
Good choice for an allegorical ekphrasis, Dave. There is a fascination here with the whole process of creativity as allegory. The work of the Dutch masters almost always demands analysis like this.
I'm sure papers have been written on this. Vermeer's explanation raises many questions - a puzzle indeed.
Very, very clever take on the prompt Dave!
It is a mystery indeed :)
Dear Dave the end of this poem of yours reminds me once more to Eliot, I can't say why, but straight to:
"The word within a word unable to speak a word..."
Great and greatly baffling questions at the end.
An interesting take on the puzzle Dave
wow...you make to want me check out his painting more detailed.. there's so much hidden in art...things not visible for the eyes but still there...very clever take on the prompt david
I think it may be a ruse, the whole studio/painting thing!
Perhaps the 'artist' is cleverly meeting his lover.
Who would ever suspect such an innocent scene?
I think it is a" do you want to come up and see my etchings?" scenario. Honestly the lengths some men will go to to bed a damsel:)
I reckon its a mystery and a puzzle about death all rolled into one :-).
I must admit I was thinking what Cressida de Nova said. In todays world in would be a camera with the lense cap still on.
Thanks - pleased you thought so!
Thanks - I'd be interested to hear anything you come up with.
It is an intriguing mystery, I feel. Thanks for your visit and for commenting.
I do know what you mean about Vermeer, he does outdo hiimself at times, but this seems to me to be less striving for effect then some. I'm interested in you picking up on the tiles - they were one of the last items that occurred to me.
Mmmm, I'm not convinced they were mistakes - though I think mosy of the interpretations might have been. Good to have you visiting and good to have your comments.
I agree there's a lot of interest in the painting after his death. Maybe another time...? Thanks for your thoughts. Much appreciated.
Yes, you are spot on with your last comment, I feel. Thank you for your observations. They are gretly appreciated.
Yes, that's so. Many years ago I wrote one as part of my diploma submission - can't now recall very much about it, though!
Thank you for your kind words.
Almost I think you do me too much honour! - But thank you for it!
Th Weaver of Grass
Yes, an eternal puzzlement. Thanks.
He certainly could put together a puzzle when he put his mind to it! Thanks for your kind words.
That suggestion appeals to my romantic nature. Until now my best guess has been something Masonic, but I much prefer yours.
Cressida de Nova
Ah, another romantic! The more the better, I say. Thanks, your comment is very welcome.
Well, yes, could be, but that is not what he said.
Ah, yes. I can see that so clearly. Like it. Thanks.
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