Robert Tanitch’s Round-up of Books. No 6
VERMEER The Complete Works (Taschen £65), superbly produced in a very large format, is an absolutely wonderful catalogue for anybody who loves his work and admires his skill. Which is your favourite painting? The Milkmaid? The Girl with a Pearl Earring? A Young Woman Reading a Letter? Vermeer (1632-1675) one of the greatest Dutch artists of the Golden Age, had the ability to make mundane domestic scenes memorable.
The paintings are stories in themselves, psychological studies, focusing on detail, subtly erotic. The girls make music, read letters, pour milk out of a jug and flirt with cavaliers. Some of the girls, caught in the act, as it were, turn their heads to see who is coming into the room. Vermeer’s handling of light and shade is extraordinary. The book is stunning; hours of pleasure.