Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Austen and Vermeer

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:54 AM
  • 5 Replies
  • 226 Total Views

Yesterday, I attended a JASNA meeting (birthday tea party for Jane) where the President of JASNA, Marsha Huff, (wonderfully nice lady...had a great chat with her) spoke on the similarities between Jane Austen's writings and Johannes Vermeer's paintings. I never thought to connect the two, but it was very enlightening! Has anyone ever heard of them being compared?

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 11:54 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-5):
LibbyLife
by on Dec. 15, 2009 at 5:18 PM

No, please enlighten us!

 

Gaskinwife
by Group Admin on Dec. 16, 2009 at 1:30 PM

"Viewing  Austen through Vermeer's Camera Obscura."

For those of you who do not know what the Camera Obscura is, here is a link: http://www.essentialvermeer.com/camera_obscura/co_one.html It is the technique that Vermeer used to capture the light and "shine" in his work.

Vermeer died on December 16th, 1676....exactly 100 years before JA was born. Vermeer was a moralist and so was JA, compared to other novelist of her time. She kept things "light and airy" and Vermeer was the painter of light.

All paintings can be viewed at http://www.essentialvermeer.com

The painting

A Girl Reading a Letter by
an Open Window

can be related to JA's work because of all the significant letters in JA's works...i.e. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth to clear his name, or Wentworth's letter to Anne E.

OFFICER AND LAUGHING GIRL can be related to the militia in P&P and Lydia among many of the laughing girls featured there. Note: The officer's coat is also red!

THE GIRL WITH A GLASS OF WINE is a scene of seduction where the man is plying the girl with drink but if you notice the girl's expression, it doesn't  seem like she minds. Wickham and Lydia?

THE MUSIC LESSON is similar to a scene in P&P where Darcy approaches Elizabeth while she is playing at Rosings Park. Can you recall that scene?

A LADY WRITING is also a good scene that could have been picked from just about all of JA's works.

A LADY SEATED AT A VIRGINAL (a virginal is a pianoforte, and was called a virginal because like in Regency England, unmarried --thus Virgins-- were expected to present their wares to prospective suitors) is another painting that could be showcased since it is similar to many scenes of JA's work.

THE CONCERT is similar to a scene in Emma where they are discussing the gift of a pianoforte that Jane Fairfax received.

I could go on (I am not doing justice to Marsha Huff's presentation) but let me just say, that after seeing Huff and then viewing even more of Vermeer's work, I can say that just about ANY of his pieces can be related to JA's work. It is amazing, and has me rather intrigued.

NOT to mention that Colin Firth played the role of Vermeer in Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Coincidence? Hmmmm.....

LibbyLife
by on Dec. 16, 2009 at 2:46 PM


Quoting Gaskinwife:

"NOT to mention that Colin Firth played the role of Vermeer in Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Coincidence? Hmmmm.....


ah-HA!  It always comes back to Colin Firth, doesn't it!  Love, love, LOVE him!  But seriously, the talk you heard sounds very interesting!  Will have to look into that more . . .  Thanks!

LibbyLife
by on Jan. 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I looked at images of Vermeer paintings after you had shared this perspective, and wow!  I was blown away at how much I could "see" similarities between the world of Jane Austen and the paintings of Vermeer.  Thanks for sharing your JASNA meetings with us!

Syra3.14159
by Member on Jan. 21, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I love his work.  Amazing!  I especially liked "A Little Street"  It reminded me of Mansfield Park when the heroine went home.  Thanks so much for sharing!

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)