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Vermeer and the invention of seeing

Author: Bryan Jay Wolf
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, ©2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This book begins with a single premise: that Vermeer painted images not only of extraordinary beauty, but of extraordinary strangeness. To understand that strangeness, Bryan Jay Wolf turns to ways of seeing that first developed in the seventeenth century. In a series of provocative readings, Wolf presents Vermeer in bracing new ways, arguing for the painter's immersion in - rather than withdrawal from - the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Johannes Vermeer; Johannes Vermeer; Johannes Vermeer; Johannes Vermeer; Johannes Vermeer; Jan Vermeer
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Bryan Jay Wolf
ISBN: 0226905047 9780226905044
OCLC Number: 44039335
Description: xvii, 303 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Inside the camera obscura --
De Hooch and domesticity --
Cartesian mediations --
Interruption --
Writing --
Transgression --
Nationhood.
Responsibility: Bryan Jay Wolf.
More information:

Abstract:

"This book begins with a single premise: that Vermeer painted images not only of extraordinary beauty, but of extraordinary strangeness. To understand that strangeness, Bryan Jay Wolf turns to ways of seeing that first developed in the seventeenth century. In a series of provocative readings, Wolf presents Vermeer in bracing new ways, arguing for the painter's immersion in - rather than withdrawal from - the intellectual concerns of his day." "The result is a Vermeer we have not seen before: a painter whose serene spaces and calm subjects incorporate within themselves, however obliquely, the world's troubles. Vermeer abandons what his predecessors had labored so carefully to achieve: legible spaces, a world of moral clarity defined by the pressure of a hand against a table or the scatter of light across a bare wall. Instead Vermeer complicated Dutch domestic art and invented what has puzzled and captivated his admirers ever since: the odd daubs of white pigment, dancing across the plane of the canvas; patches of blurred surface, contradicting the painting's illusionism without explanation; and the querulous silence that endows his women with secrets they dare not reveal." "This illustrated book situates Vermeer in relation to predecessors and contemporaries, and it demonstrates how powerfully he wrestled with questions of gender, class, and representation. By rethinking Vermeer's achievement in relation to the early modern world that gave him birth, Wolf takes northern Renaissance and early modern studies in new directions."--Jacket.

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