“The Glass of Wine” Johaness Vermeer

In the first part of the article, I have given you a brief introduction about the apinting and then we have analyzed the painting in more detail. In this second part, I will like to center in the painting technique used in “The Glass of wine” and I will also like to mention where did Vermeer take his inspiration from.

"The Glass of Wine"

Johaness Vermeer- 17th century

The painting technique used is oil on canvas and it contains figures situated in a bright light and spacious interior. The figures are situated in the middle ground rather than in the foreground. It is important to understand that Vermeer was only 27 when he painted “The Glass of Wine” and it is considered one of Vermeer’s mature works. Therefore, although many scholars have stated that this is not one of Vermeer’s best painting, I think that when analyzing an artist, we should take all his works into consideration in order to make a conclusion. But we cannot forget that, as we change throughout the years, artists also change their technique and style.

But, did Vermeer come up with the idea of this painting or did he take it from a former artist? Well, it is said that Vermeer took the idea from the older master’s work “A Dutch Courtyard” 1657. Vermeer only took the idea of a woman drinking wine, as well as the figures drinking around a table. But the aims of both artists were completely different as we can see below:

"A Dutch Courtyard"

Pieter de Hooch- 1657

"The Glass of Wine"

Johaness Vermeer- 17th century

Taking into consideration both paintings, we could conclude that Vermeer’s work breaks away from the one of Pieter de Hooch. Vermeer has set his painting in an interior because from now on interiors are going to be where painters are going to center and they are going to leave the outdoor aside. Here Vermeer gives a far more elegant and higher-class setting than Pieter de Hooch. We can see that it is far more elegant due to the clothes of the figures, the patterned tablecloth and the stained window, which suggests a wealthier setting. However, we can see that the idea has been taken from the Hooch because the main idea remains similar.

Moreover, comparing this work to this earlier paintings, Vermeer’s brushwork in “The Glass of Wine” is subdued, although the clothes and faces of the figures are depicted with smooth outlines. More detail has been given to the tablecloth and to the window, where he has applied detailed linear brush strokes. As we have mentioned before, this was not considered Vermeer’s finest but as I have mentioned, when we want to get a whole idea about an artist, all his works must be considered in the same way.

To sum up, in this second part I have tried to give you a more technical analysis of the painting and as I have said in the previous article, the last article will be centered in some curiosities about the painting itself, together with other paintings.