Glass of wine - Jan Vermeer. 66 cm x 76 cm
“Glass of wine” is a canvas commissioned by a wealthy patron and philanthropist Van Ruyven and is a classic Delft school of painting. The impeccable picture shows the flowering and maturity of the talent of the young painter Jan Vermeer.
Perhaps, in the plot, someone will find similarities with the work “The Dutch Courtyard” of the famous Peter de Hoch, where there is also a girl drinking from a glass. But Vermeer is more and more aristocratic, sophisticated and mysterious.
This is expressed in the interior. Despite the laconicism of the situation, it is rich and elegant: the table is covered with a tapestry tablecloth with bright patterns; on a chair with a lion’s head and a bench with carved legs, there are pillows with velvet upholstery in ultramarine color and a musical instrument; on the wall is a picture in a gilded frame; magnificent stained glass window on ajar window.
The geometry of the chess tiles on the floor deepens and creates the desired perspective, emphasizing the two main figures in the center of the composition.
Heroes' clothes are also distinguished by elegance and luxury. The coral fabric of the beauty's dress shimmers with satin sheen and is trimmed with gold braid. The young man is impressive and elegant in his broad-brimmed hat and gray-green cape, from under which you can see the snow-white sleeves of a wealthy nobleman. The girl finishes a glass of wine, and the man is ready to pour her another from a white jug.
What is this picture about?
About courtship, about love, love and ... about Christian virtue. Yes, Jan Vermeer would not have been him if he had not encrypted the meaning in his work using symbols and allegories.
In the 17th century painting, images of certain objects were taken that could convey to people the necessary understanding of the topic, personified abstract concepts, for example - knowledge, faith, stupidity, vices, virtues and so on.
So, a musical instrument (possibly a lute), depicted by the author, implies the harmony of souls and love of young people, but also, this means a temptation.
Crumpled notes thrown on the table speak of precaution. They were deciphered as the unattainability of happiness and harmony between lovers.
And, of course, an allegory of moderation (or sobriety), which the author placed directly opposite the girl - in the form of an image of a figure in a stained glass window. She is called to help the girl gain intelligence and return to a righteous life.
All these symbols serve to remind of the main Christian virtues - modesty, prudence, chastity. It is not for nothing that Vermeer is called a mystery artist and we are wondering how many more secrets and secrets his creations keep.