drenched in milk and holy water

make me arch my back like ice cream sundae spoons. give me afterglow as bright and daunting as the moon. make me fall in love with you.

A short essay I had to do for my history class about one of my favorite artists, Jan Vermeer.


Jan Vermeer was a painter known for painting western middle-class interior scenes. Born in 1632 and died in 1675, very little knowledge is known about his life. He did not paint mass amounts of masterpieces, but the ones that are preserved today are magnificent scenes crafted with the utmost respect for soft and rich colors that were wonderfully complemented by the effects of light painted with them. He hailed from Delft, Holland, where his father was familiar with the art scene, due to the fact that there is evidence that he had a taste for buying and selling art. Vermeer’s teacher may have been Leonaert Bramer, a Delft artist who was a witness at Vermeer’s marriage in 1653, or the painter Carel Fabritius of Delft. Both men are only educated guesses because of the lack of information that has lasted until present day. His earliest signed and dated painting was “The Procuress” from 1656. At first, his art was largely influenced by history, and the Italian artist, Caravaggio. Vermeer’s later pieces were mainly composed of exquisite interiors of houses and its inhabitants (usually one or two women) doing everyday activities such as writing a letter or tending to food. He was a master at depicting the way light illuminates and affects objects and in the rendering of materials. A more well known painting of his is called “Little Street”. That masterpiece rests in the Rijksmuseum and perfectly displays the artistic traits that made Vermeer famous. Once Vermeer died, he was overlooked by almost all of the art collectors and art historians for more than 200 years. His few paintings were constantly attributed to other artists. In 1866, when the French critic W. Thore-Burger rediscovered him, did Vermeer’s works become widely known and his works heralded as genuine Vermeer originals.

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