21 May 2008

View of Delft

We recently visited Den Haag (The Hague) to see Jan Vermeer’s “View of Delft.” Reproductions just don’t do it justice. The actual painting had a big emotional impact. I’m not entirely sure why — it’s just a landscape, a city I’d never been to. Probably some of it’s just the sheer technical brilliance — the colors and texture of the painting were so unexpected based on reproductions I’d seen.

I think this is probably one of my top two favorites by Vermeer (“The Kitchen Maid” is the other; it also sparkles in real life but not in reproductions).

By contrast, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” seems to reproduce pretty well — the reproductions look better than “View of Delft,” but the actual painting doesn’t add as much.