A Girl Asleep Analysis

Decent Essays
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a Dutch painter from Delft who came into prominence during the Dutch Golden Age. His painting of A Girl Asleep is a “genre” painting. He brings the genre art to life in this painting by exploring the effects of atmosphere, color, compositional structure, light, and perspective in relation to its intimate interior scene. The painting tells the story of a young woman, occasionally with a male companion, asleep while seated on a table in a domestic interior. The format of the painting is vertical and is an oil on canvas painting. The girl, a maid that has dozed off after entertaining a visitor, is the foreground of the painting. She is dressed in a brown silk dress and lace neckband while a small cap adorns her ears and pearl earrings are shining at both cheeks. Her physical features are subtle, unmarked by feelings, even though her cheeks seem to be flushed and is smiling. The painting above her portrays an unmasked Cupid, which is an implied explanation of her dreamy smile. On the table, there are objects placed at its front including two glasses: a wine glass that is half-filled and an opaque wine pitcher. These objects subtly imply the probable cause for the girl’s current state, which could be drunkenness. Vermeer’s subtle approach to the girl’s possibly intoxicated state displays the artist’s sense of respect because not only is her self-esteem and physical appeal maintained, so is her upper-class social standing. The girl’s elbow is
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