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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Art Interviews

While hundreds of people rushed to view the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, I made my way to the Dutch paintings to see The Lacemaker and The Astronomer, displayed companionably next to each other

One of my favorite artists - Pierre Auguste Renoir - reportedly believed The Lacemaker, painted between 1669-1670, was the most beautiful painting in the world! This is the smallest of Johannes Vermeer's paintings at just 24 cm x 21 cm. Yet her lovely yellow dress brightens the room in which she works. I love how she is carefully bent over her work but how that work is somehow hidden by objects in the foreground.

In another of Bob Raczka's books entitled The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations With Seven Works of Art, he deftly "interviews" the subjects of seven Vermeer paintings. With wit and insight, he coaxes answers from the subjects about Vermeer's style, their own roles in life, historical information from the time period, and additional details about the subjects of other paintings. Once again, I plan to share the photos and the book with students during the coming school year, helping them to choose a painting and construct interview questions to ask of its subject. Giving a voice to the subject's answers will require insightful research.


  1. Another great review of a book that I MUST have. After reading your opening comments I went immediately to one of my favorite internet sites, Artcyclopedia, and found the Vermeer "Lacemaker." How thrilling it must have been to see it!

  2. I too loved seeing that painting & sketching it at the Louvre, & then seeing lacemakers in action in Bruges during the same trip. So, you have read Girl With the Pearl Earring, I'm sure... I will look for his books. There is a new book out, for some light reading called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. It's light reading, but enjoyable, includes writers & other artists...

  3. I just LOVE minitures. They intrigue the heck out of me.

  4. Yes, what Kate says . . .I'm off to find the 'Lacemaker' and the book . . .thanks so much for the intro. xx