Poem on “The Art of Painting”


the map of the Netherlands

Why Johannes do you
paint me young when I’ve seen the birth of light?

Why with eyes down?

If I should be
ashamed of my own past…

If you should be ashamed
of yours…

Is not life joy and

Why not a happy smile
in my eyes?


The light coming through the window in the painting
was more intense every time I looked at it. Time was passing by without me
being conscious of it. I started writing with the painter’s hands. My retreat
was his painting, but it seemed that he found refuge in my writing: one and the
same thing.

I was scribbling about every detail of the model’s
face, just as Johannes seemed to have painted it, with meticulous strokes. In
fact, I was painting every detail of her face with Vermeer’s hands. His hands
were mine.

 the mask, down to the left

My face does not
reflect my age

No traits, no

Why, Johannes, why?

I own all the
knowledge of having lived fully

My every act so

You do not reflect

Light, Johannes, more

You light me!

vermeer's technique in his painting





Valeriano Bozal (2003). Vermeer: el gran “voyeur”. Descubrir el Arte,
nº 48.
Consultado 20.03.2011 en

Janson (2011). An essential Vermeer bookshop. Consultada
20.03.2011 en http://www.essentialvermeer.com/books/books_vermeer.html