Learn more at http: Private collection by Ball, New York, by From whom acquired by the present owner in
Oil on canvas, 92 x cm. Dordrecht Museum, Dordrecht Maids, who were considered a sort of necessary evil, enjoyed the dubious privilege of being the subject of popular literature and plays.
They spoke their mind to their masters and mistress and were pictured as untrustworthy, the most dangerous women of all. However, the fact that they are portrayed so many times in family portraits may indicate that some were successfully integrated into the family, the fundamental unit of Dutch woman writing a letter gerard ter borch woman.
As Wayne Franits pointed out, the maid's presence in the present picture "is not coincidental since in popular literature and theater and in genre painting servants function as vital confidants in their mistress' and masters' amorous pursuits, In fact, many of the practical guides to courtship advised lovers to use servants as go-btweens in their relationship, especially for the purpose of delivering letters.
Their importance was such that some towns had issued regulations to settle the disputes between masters and servants. For example, if a servant had been hired with solid references from her last employer, the new employer was forbidden to fire her before the terms of the original hire, usually six months.
Most of Vermeer's maids are shown in a relatively neutral attitude. The Milkmaid, however, is perhaps the most sympathetic portrayal of the maid in the history of Dutch painting and has become to stand for domestic virtue and moral value of hard-working Dutch society as a whole.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The fact that the Dutch word for clean schoon also means beautiful always draws a smile from those who are familiar with the cleanliness of Dutch homes. In Vermeer's time, no visitor ever failed to note that Dutch towns were ceaselessly swept, scrubbed, burnished, mopped and washed.
According to an account of an English visitor, "The beauty and cleanliness of the streets are so extraordinary that Persons of all rank do not scruple, but seem to take pleasure in walking in them. A popular household manual devoted an entire chapter to the weekly task which was expected to be followed with religious devotion.
On every weekend morning, the steps of the house had to be cleaned, on Wednesday the whole house had to be gone over, Tuesday afternoons were devoted to dusting, Thursdays for scrubbing and scouring and Fridays the cleaning of the cellar and kitchen. Although recent research has shown a growing concern of Italian writers in the 15th and 16th century for personal hygiene, cleanliness was confined to the higher echelons of urban society.
According to contemporary writing, ordinary citizens, the poor and peasants were either ignored or used as a dirty contrasts to the aristocracy, with peasants embodying the hallmark of filth.
Only maids that cleaned the houses of the bourgeois families were expected to maintain high standards of hygiene. Differently, in Holland, cleanliness involved the houses of a people both in towns and in the countryside. Foreign visitors on boat trips from Amsterdam witnessed the cleanliness in the surrounding villages.
The origins of Dutch cleanliness has never been fully explained. Contemporary observers linked the vehement cleansing of houses, streets, and ships to the destructive humidity typical of Dutch climate. Regular scrubbing would prevent furniture and wooden floors from moulding and rotting.
attheheels.com: Gerard ter Borch - A Woman Writing a letter, Canvas Art Print, Size 18x24, Canvas Print Rolled in a Tube: Posters & Prints. Shop Woman Writing A Letter., By Gerard Ter Borch Postcard created by Artcollection. Personalize it with photos & text or purchase as is!Price: $ Ter Borch’s fashionably attired subject resembles his sister and frequent model Gesina. The demure lady has pushed aside the carpet covering the table in order to have a smooth surface on which to write. Since beds were found in all rooms in Dutch residences at this time, the bed here is unlikely to allude to licentious behavior.
However, weather conditions were quite similar in other parts of the North Sea area where no such culture of cleanliness existed. In a recent study the historians Bas van Bavel and Oscar Gelderblom have argued convincingly that Dutch cleanliness was closely bound to the commercialization of the all-important butter and dairy products both which require an extraordinary attention to hygiene.
They estimate that by the turn of the 16th century half of all rural households and up to one third of urban households in Holland produced butter and cheese.
The mimetic rendering of the present work is so uncomplicated that some critics have asserted it was not finished when it left the painter's easel. Nonetheless, it compares quite well with the artist's late style which tends towards generalized, abstracted forms and broken tones instead of descriptive detail and continuous modeling.
In fact, Vermeer's art was to be championed by some 20th-century abstract painters who saw him as spiritual precursor the art-for-art's-sake doctrine. The degree to which Vermeer abstracted the observed world into pictorial terms is so authoritative that it frequently escapes notice.
If one isolates the billowing starch-white sleeves from the rest of the painting, they are almost unrecognizable. Man's propensity towards abstracting visual phenomena has proved troublesome to explain in detail but it is generally held that the human mind tends to organize shapes in accordance with its own principal function:Ter Borch’s oeuvre consists largely of intimate paintings of people absorbed in what they are doing.
This woman writing a letter is the first of a whole series and was an example for other artists, like Vermeer. Gerard ter Borch - Woman sealing a letter. c. , x cm, Oil on canvas, Private collection. The large, ebony-framed painting represents a Finding of Moses attributed to Peter Lely, who was trained in Haarlem with Pieter de Grebber and who is known to have painted religious works in .
Woman Reading a Letter Oil on canvas, 79 x 68 cm Royal Collection, London: Ter Borch frequently represented elegantly dressed men and women writing or reading letters, often, as here, in the company of servants, family members, or friends quietly awaiting the reader's reactions.
Shop Woman Writing A Letter., By Gerard Ter Borch Postcard created by Artcollection. Personalize it with photos & text or purchase as is!Price: $ The Dutch painter Gerard ter Borch is best known for his tranquil genre scenes mostly painted in the Dutch town of Deventer.
He was one of three children, all of whom were trained by their father (also an artist) and pursued artistic careers.