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The Little Street - Vermeer, Fine Art
The Little Street - Vermeer, Fine Art
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The Little Street - Vermeer

The Little Street - Vermeer from Fine Art, Prodi Art, Hollande, street, Johannes Vermeer, Vermeer
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Description
Vermeer's Little Street is one of his most appealing paintings. It is at once picturesque and imbued with a quiet dignity. The subject is hardly the street, which is of little importance in the painting, but rather the collection of buildings and inhabitants that face it. The rows of worn cobblestones that slowly converge on the vanishing point are essential in creating a reasonable sense of depth and breaking up the stifling flatness of the main façade that dominates the picture plane.

The scene Vermeer depicts is entirely shaded by clouds that appear to be cumulus clouds illuminated by the sun shining on the left. The main pigment of the blue sky is azurite, now extinct, the most common blue on the palette of 17th century Dutch painters. The clouds are executed by delicate but quick diagonal brushstrokes of white with small mixtures of red ochre and azurite.

In the 1660s, Vermeer became increasingly aware of the role of natural light in defining space and enhancing the mood of his paintings. In this painting, light does not play as active a role. In addition, by the 1660s Vermeer had perfected a series of techniques to suggest the different textures of objects, many of which involved the use of rich impasto paint. These textural effects are not evident in La Petite Rue, despite Vermeer's obvious interest in rendering the different surfaces of buildings.
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