The Astronomer

Johannes Vermeer. The Astronomer. 1668. Louvre, Paris.

Johannes Vermeer is a Dutch painter born in the year 1632. He is thought to stay in his hometown of Delft for most of his life. He mostly painted works of women, although he did paint a man in these two paintings.“The Geographer” created in 1668-1669 is thought to be a pendant to “The Astronomer.” It is thought that the same person is in both pieces, possibly Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. A few of Vermeer’s works include “Girl with the Pearl Earring,” “The Music Lesson,” and “The Girl with the Wine Glass” (“Johannes Vermeer,” 2012).

“The Astronomer” is a great piece. I like it because it contrasts light from dark, which is a work of tenebrism. It also displays the light from the window, which he displays so perfectly on the face, table, and wall. He displays the shadows on the wall from the dresser so accurately. It also captures the quietness, peacefulness and concentration of his profession, something very unique and special. The book on the table is Metius’s “Institutiones Astronomicae Geographicae.” It is thought to be on Book III, seeking inspiration from God. The painting on the wall is of Moses, which is thought to symbolize knowledge and science (“The Astronomer,” 2012). This painting is very inspiring because how it represents how much we have discovered and acquired in science today.

“The Geographer,” below, is thought to be a pendant to “The Astronomer.” They are very similar. First, it is the same model. The globe, books, dresser, clothing, and table cloth are all in the picture. Also, there’s a signature or date as well (near the globe in “The Astronomer” and on the wall in “The Geographer”). They are both studying and thinking. Vermeer symbolizes the expansion of scientific knowledge so significantly, in both “The Astronomer” and “The Geographer.”

Works Cited

“Johannes Vermeer.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 June 2012. Web. 06 June 2012.

“The Astronomer (Vermeer).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 May 2012. Web. 06 June 2012.

“The Geographer.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 May 2012. Web. 06 June 2012.