The Guitar Player

the guitar player

The Guitar Player / c. 1672 /Oil on canvas / 53 x 46.3 cm

2 responses to “The Guitar Player

  1. It is true that Sir Paul McCartney sat silently before this painting at Kenwood House, staring. Not just once, but many days. Penny for your thoughts, Paul(?). He has great admiration for this painting of a young woman and a young guitar. He is willing to pay a King’s ransom for it, if only… if only it were for sale!
    It is not my favoured work, but it has an extreme and uniquely interesting secret. I attempted to share it with others through contact with Kenwood’s Stewards. The IDEA was not received well, and remains Vermeer’s secret.
    A 17th/18th century painter, who fully admired Vermeer, obviously, painted a replica of this painting. The difference was in the removal of the fashionable dangling curls, which were, apparently, anathema to to the sensiblitiies of this artist. This would have amused Vermeer, because the full intent and integrity of the picture is dependant, at least partly, upon the presence of curls!
    Others have noted the reflection of the curls in the branch of a tree in the painting-within-a-painting behind the girl. I believe that Vermeer reveals an even greater interest in SPIRALS by the inlays on the guitar. The dark and light edging inlay around the body of the guitar suggests spiraling and, without doubt, the double spiral inlaid decoration at the base of the sound-box confirms the theme.
    During Vermeer’s half-century, great mathematician’s were studying the fascinating Fibinocci number sequences and it’s magical golden section. Among these men was Rene Descarte, a mathematician and philosopher, whose name is sometimes associated with the GOLDEN SPIRAL, based on the Fibinocci sequence and his own conclusions. The numbers reveal a kind of magical proportion or ratio of 1 : 1.618 . The increasing arc of this spiral can be drawn with compasses with larger and larger circle segments at right angles at every join. This was of great interest to these men who pursued answers to it’s intriguing reflections in nature’s structures as well as the beauty in the numbers. The nautilus shell was thought to follow this sequence in it’s spiral form, but does not exactly lend itself perfectly.
    The Guitar Player of Vermeer, I believe, was structurally based on this SPIRAL. Sir Paul can ask those who are in-the-know at Kenwood if his interest hasn’t waned.

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