About: Mid-way between a coffee table book and scholarly treatise, this small, slim volume is a surprisingly stunning study of the legendary Dutch master’s entire output (35 paintings). Norbert Schneider has serious chops as an art historian, yet manages to present technical details, sociological factors and biographical information in a straightforward and engaging manner. He takes you considerably deeper than ‘Girl witha Pearl Earring’. His beautifully nuanced precision is well worthy of Vermeer.
Motivation: I have wildly eclectic taste. Though my preferences twist and turn, slither and lurch to a thousand and one different places, doubling back before shooting off in another hundred seemingly random, sometimes contradictory directions, one thing is always indisputable: I like what I like. And I like Vermeer. In fact, I have an overall fondness for Dutch painting. A quick thumb-through of this lush little gem and I was sold.
Times Read: Countless
Random Excerpt/Page 36: ” A peeled lemon in ‘Woman and two men’ lies on a silver dish next to a jug which has been placed on a white cloth in an arrangement which is almost like a still life; the purpose if the lemon was to reduce the effect of love potions.”