Sometimes the sound of silence can actually be very informative. I’m talking of course about the sort of silent narrative that some of the old Master’s used to convey quietness, closeness and intimacy. Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (c.1632 -1675) is a good example of capturing the private moment and sharing it with you.
When you look into his paintings, there is a feeling that you have just stepped into the room and have just missed something: some kind of activity or movement, and now all is still (until you leave…….) It’s a bit like the childhood fancy about toys coming alive whilst you are asleep and then going back to the inanimate objects they really are when you wake up.
Vermeer’s paintings look deceptively simple: a woman with a letter, a young woman at a virginal, another pouring a ewer of milk, a girl with a pearl earring: pictures of quite domesticity (or so it would seem on the face of it). Vermeer was particularly outstanding in his use of light. He loved to light his figures up by painting what looks like natural daylight. This light illuminates the figures, bringing them to life.