Edward Hopper has always appealed to me because despite his obvious introverted personality, he managed to bring his vision to the world. Johannes Vermeer, whose use of light reminds me of Hopper was never able to accomplish the same feat.
Vermeer who was truly gifted and inherited his talent by way of birth (his father was quite talented and had quite an eye for art) confined himself to his mediate surroundings. Although he inherited a healthy art business from his father, he failed to flourish. In fact, on his passing he was quite in debt; his wife chose bankruptcy not long after. Vermeer painted some thirty to forty paintings, all of which are beautiful. However, his paintings never reached the level of maturity most artist find as they experience life. His paintings are almost too detailed. It is quite normal for artists, initially seeking to paint the perfect picture, to paint more obscured or not-so-detailed pieces to show a level of maturity or a realization that essentially, the world is not perfect. These elements are missing in Vermeer’s paintings. Not to take away from his brilliance however, I wonder; had Vermeer ventured outside of Delft or studied a more broad array of artists, would he have enjoyed more fame (in his time) or fortune? Or is it possible that we did see the best of Vermeer? Perhaps, but in my opinion, while unquestionably talented, Vermeer’s true measure remains unrealized.
- What makes a masterpiece? (independent.co.uk)
- Masters Study – Edward Hopper, Lighthouse at Two Lights 1929 (bethparkerart.wordpress.com)
- He Captured Unfettered Illusionism (online.wsj.com)