Study of a Young Woman Vermeer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The elaborate detail oriented painting of Portrait of a Young Woman is a brilliant manifestation of the artistry needed to manifest such a beautiful piece of artwork.

The painting was conceived in 1665-1667 during the artist's transition within his work.

Johannes Vermeer is a classic renaissance painter whose work resembles Albrecht Durer, Nicolas Poussin, and Eugene Delacroix. These captivating artists showcase mastery within their work as their understanding of the arts has gained the immense recognition. Vermeer and his contemporaries has transformed the art world by setting a significant foundation within Europe at the time.

The painting of a Portrait of a Young Woman highly resembles a similar style as Vermeer's most popular painting, Girl With Pearl Earring. Both artworks are transcending pieces that manifest the artist's impeccable ability to show his skill and knowledge in art. Both artworks seem to reflect a realist style that will gain popularity near the end of the 19th century, yet already incorporate the critical elements.

The portrait of a Young Woman is based to the side as the girl sits sideways looking directly at the viewer as she catches their gaze. The painting was completed in the midst of the artist's career as he had found hid own style and technique. The soft brush strokes that fill the canvas generate small details throughout the woman's face.

It is unknown who the muse of the painting is, however highly resembles a few of the other young women within Vermeer's collection of paintings which include A Lady Writing, A Lady and Two Gentle Man, and Woman with a Lute. The artist held a passion for painting young woman as their innocent features added a gentle touch to the artwork.

The young girls round face is illuminated by a source of light coming from the right side of the canvas as t he artist's other classic pieces do. The model's round face is illuminated showcasing her features with wide round eyes and a small sharp nose. Her thin lips cover the canvas as she grins at the viewer in a light peach shade.

Vermeer had strategically based the portrait on the light source from the left side as the girls face is contoured. A glimpse of her ears is shown on the right side of the canvas, with a gold veil unwinding from her head. The young girl is covered in a grey fabric that hangs around her shoulders in loose fit. The artist continues to texture the fabric swaying across the girl by lighting and contouring it based on the light source on the upper left side.

The painting of the young woman encourages the viewer to be curious of the events that are occurring within the artwork wondering the girl's thoughts and feelings. It is unknown whether the artist had the girl pose for the portrait or if the image is based off of the artist's imagination. The portrait continues to be an unusual artwork for Vermeer as it lacks the usual rich background that adds character to the scenery. This painting primarily focuses on the structure of the features of the girl as the focal point of the artwork.

Art critics have pondered for centuries as to why the artist had decided to focus his work on illustrating the captivating presence of a portrait apart from the classic paintings the artist is known for. The masterful detail is shown on the canvas as every brush stroke adds to the picture, creating a grander manifestation of beauty and elegance.