Featured A Cupid Revealed in a Vermeer Painting after 300 Years

Discussion in 'Art' started by James Conrad, May 22, 2019.

  1. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

  2. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    How awful. Someone just covered up a figure that they didn't like in a masterpiece! I can't imagine, though, the intensity of the restorer that would involve scraping only a centimeter in a day's effort. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
    kyratango, judy, Any Jewelry and 4 others like this.
  3. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    My guess is it's a painting hanging on the wall and will make more sense when fully revealed. It will be interesting to see the restored composition.
     
    kyratango, judy, Christmasjoy and 5 others like this.
  4. Jaena

    Jaena Well-Known Member

    Sorry, but I don't like cherubs/cupids much either.
     
    judy, Ghopper1924 and Bronwen like this.
  5. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Yeah, painfully slow but, sometimes the long way home is the best way home.
     
    kyratango, judy, Any Jewelry and 3 others like this.
  6. Bdigger

    Bdigger Well-Known Member

    I like the tone of the unrestored painting better. the restored painting looks washed out/faded.
     
    judy, Aquitaine, Christmasjoy and 3 others like this.
  7. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS!!!

    I tend to agree with Bdigger, but the unrestored is also not 300 years old either!!! WHAT FUN TO FIND THAT hidden cupid though!!!!! I LOVE mysteries like that!!!!!
     
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  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Vermeer put the cupid in to indicate the girl is reading a love letter. Being a Catholic in a Calvinist Protestant region, he was a master of hidden meanings. Just about every one of his paintings has a message, often religious or political.
    The use of the cupid painting is a very obvious one.
    Here it is again, behind the lady playing the virginal:

    [​IMG]

    My guess is he owned the cupid painting himself, or his rich mother-in-law did. I also guess some later owner of the reading girl didn't like nudity.:rolleyes:

    The difference in the size of the cupid in both paintings is also interesting. It is bigger in the reading girl painting. Maybe love is more important there, young love, first love? The girl is a young girl and the window is open.
    The lady playing the virginal is older, and the window is closed. She is not 'free' but there is still love, maybe newly wed? The chair next to her is empty, maybe a merchant husband, like Vermeer himself. The virginal is the symbol of pure love.
    That is just the photograph, probably taken by someone from the team of restorers who was a first time photographer. Most of the painting hasn't been cleaned yet, only the top right hand corner where you can see part of the cupid appear. The rest looks very faded and glistening with old veneer, so just a bad photo.
    The restorers said that the person who painted over the cupid 'restored' much of the painting using dark paint to match the already darkened veneer. Much of the detail was lost.
    It will look beautiful and much brighter and more detailed when restored. It will be more like Vermeer painted it, and I think he would approve.
    Vermeer paintings should be bright and brilliant (in every sense of the word) even when the hidden meaning is sometimes a bit more troubled than in this one.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  9. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Agrees, come on kidz, give the restorers a chance! it's a LONG way from finished! Yeah, that sounds about right, some religious nut probably decided to "improve" on Vermeer's work! :rolleyes:
     
  10. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Just read up on the Cupid painting. It was painted by Caesar van Everdingen, a contemporary of Vermeer.
    The posture of the cupid holding a card was taken from an engraving in the 1608 book "Amorum Emblemata" by Otto van Veen. It represents faithful love.
     
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  11. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Wonderful information. Takes James' original post to a richer understanding. Thanks so much for your research!
     
  12. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS!!!

    Wonderful and "in depth" information, AJ!! Thank you so much!! But then, you are always so thorough!!!!
     
  13. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    Interesting seeing the same image in another Vermeer. Surprising they didn't mention it in the article.
     
  14. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    I am too. Very. :confused:
     
  15. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Vermeer is my favourite of the Holland Dutch painters, so I have read a bit about him. I love his symbolism, which went beyond that of many of his Holland contemporaries.
    I knew the Vermeer of the standing lady with the virginal, and that she had a cupid painting behind her. From memory I wasn't sure if it was the same cupid, so I googled the painting.
     
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