Vermeer’s technique

Everything of Vermeer is in the Beit \’Letter\’ set out with a deliberation which was never his before. Form is seen as plain, free of all that has ever seemed particular or accidental. Light carves in flat facets the simplest shapes. In the bare and perfect design two characteristic creatures meet at last, in the centre the standing maid servant, carved as simply as a pillar, exerting her gentle government over the space around her, and before her the bell-like lady, engrossed in herself. They are the poles of Vermeer\’s world, revealed in their complementary character and held together in equilibrium. There is no impact, no drama: the balance is unshakable.

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