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AnnaTangible and elusive

There is a rainbow in this photo. You have to look carefully and with wider eyes than just those between your nose. She got her grandfather to stop the car and she took this in 2007, looking over a bridge in NW Washington State / N Idaho.

My trip to Delft yesterday was wondrous. She probably would say Absolutely Incredibly. The phrase "tangible and elusive" is from the soundtrack of one of the slide show presentations you can see at the Vermeer center. It immediately resonated. It describes the meaning of at least two things. One of them is her.

The other is Griet, who posed for the painting "Girl With A Pearl Earring." The name Griet is the invention of the American novelist Tracy Chevalier, whose contemporary novel is the basis for the British film of the same name, some of which was created right here. The girl it represents was one of his models in 1665. Nobody really knows who she was.

Vermeer died in 1675, in his forties, and had a tough time with money all his life. In fact, he was broke. More than half of the paintings he did belonged to this one dude in his own time, a merchant, historians think there was some kind of a sales contract where he would give Vermeer money for his paintings, which V would then spend for food, and paint, lather / rinse / repeat. One of them was given to the baker by his wife, to settle a bread debt.

Nobody thought anything much about a dead Delft painter until about 1850 when he was rediscovered. Now his work is worth millions. Not one single painting of his remains in Delft, where he spent his whole life. They are in New York, other places, and a couple WERE here in Amsterdam, now on loan to Tokyo.

And Brad rejoices.

That is because the Center tells him that onsite photography is fine, since all of the Vermeer works inside are reproductions. VERY GOOD reproductions and prints they are, too. So, click away. His batteries are all up and pumping out the voltage. Lots of pics to share right here when he gets back to the USA.

The Vermeer Center is right there on the site of the 1650's Guild Hall for Artists. V went there to eat, drink, discuss technique, and find someone to pay the bill. It fell apart sometime in the 19th century and today's building is all new. Vermeer's house is gone and so is his mother's inn, where he and his family lived and where his studio was. It was in the middle of what now is a connecting street.

The VC is also broke. No national or local government support at all. Almost no tourists [it IS hard to find, I'm stubborn.] Nobody to interrupt my photoshoot, either!

Girl With A Pearl Earring.

Not a single one of Vermeer's other portraits contains anything near the detail and depth of expression this one does, from about 1665. I did not read that in some art book. Just go look at his other portraits and compare them: this is completely and totally obvious. He is working at extremely close range, compared to his others. He's right on top of her. The reason why is obvious.

One floor is totally devoted to how V used light. There are demos. Lights play over his reproductions so you can see how he built his lighting into his works. Better than anyone else in his time. This is unforgettable. No book does this any justice at all.

If you ever touched Anna you knew she was tangible. Only a few of us here ever got to do that, and some a lot *lot* more than me. If you were lucky /// or unlucky /// enough to know her in addition to touching her, you also know she was elusive. She did not like most people to touch her. For most people it was mutual.

Like Griet, did anybody ever know who Anna really was either?

If you go look up her works "The Discarded" or "Gritty" in her galleries you will touch her and you will see something, layers in fact, but what is it you are seeing? I think these are masterpieces.

If you were in her life when she posted on AvidGamers [a site now kinda defunct or morphed] there is a picture. [TOO many in fact.] I wasn't in her life then, she led me back there one day. This picture is grainy and is one of the few of herself she ever published. She's wearing a heavy coat with a high knitted collar and the look on her face almost exactly mimics Griet's. Their eyes, their eyes.

That is not intentional but atm I do not think that what I see is an accident either.

She says the photo is "shitty".

Vermeer used Griet's portrait probably to pay for bread and wine. Or after his death, his wife used it to pay debts.

There are lots of kinds of bread. Timeless kinds, too.

But you have to open your mouth first.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
me jealous now..

share photos!!
Sep. 19th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
absolutely, ms.231. about 260 in the cam now and lots more in Boston in my laptop. you are SO in the loop.

back to Boston this coming Monday.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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