Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Music Lesson, Jan Vermeer, Rondeau Redoublé

Light falls through transomed mullions at the side,
the leaded panes, slightly opaque, subdue,
giving chalky lime wash on the walls, pale and wide,
a soft and subtle texture, as we regard the view:
the music room. A block and baluster walnut chair upholstered in blue
lapis lazuli or Delft (denim)let down with white, placed at the divide,
the third, provides a break and contrasts with a bright vermilion hue.
Light falls through transomed mullions at the side
and sets the orange red on fire, and as our eyes slide
to the right, we see it echoed in the flush of a man's hands who
stands, waiting to sing, observing his bride?
The leaded panes slightly opaque, subdue
the colours of the virginals, who's fancy pen work is given a true
account, the painstaking detail miraculous, though only implied
on the lower lid.  The shine of mercury mirror glass, quite new,
giving chalky lime wash on the walls, pale and wide
extra authenticity, lifts our attention from the virginals'. Inside
the cushioned ebony frame, reflected, is a woman's face, we try to construe
its expression, concentration? Her blouse is silk, Vermeer has applied,
a soft and subtle texture. As we regard the view,
the interior scene, we wonder at the violone on the floor, who
has abandoned it?  Are we to be denied
the pleasure of hearing the bass line? The Persian carpet on the table is one of the few
real miracles of subtle detail, folds, fringing, pattern, the other, as I have implied:
the light.

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