Brusati Response

In Johannes Vermeer’s painting titled View of Houses in Delft, Known as the “The Little Street” painted in 1658, you can see specific Vermeer characteristics that Celeste Brusati observed. When looking at this painting my eyes focuses on the scene as a whole, the large red brick buildings and partly cloudy sky. Seconds later my eyes are drawn to the doorways, which act as miniature frames into another painting and another life. One can tell Vermeer played with the framing of doors to impart a sense of spectatorship into another realm of the painting. I believe there are roughly 4 points of perspective: the two doorways, the framing of the rest of the cities and the sky to the left, and the painting as a whole. Brusati writes, “Vermeer’s perspective thus invites viewers to identify the pictured view with the camera’s image and to imagine the camera’s lens as the threshold where painting and perception meet in his art.” I felt this quote summarized my feelings when looking at Vermeers work.  

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3 thoughts on “Brusati Response

  1. Vermeer is a perfect subject to apply Brusati’s ideas on the Dutch perspective. Not only does this have multiple points of perspective as you’ve pointed out, but they don’t seem to all be from one moment but from slightly different vantage points all combined to create this seamless moment.

    I like how you mention the idea of the lens that seems to occur in Vermeer’s work. The perspectives all combined with the obscuring of details do make it seem as we are looking at this moment through a lens. I’m curious what you would think the main point of where he would be sitting painting this if he was in plein-air would be, it almost seems impossible for us to get every moment of this painting within our field of vision.

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  2. I also feel like there’s a perspective point receding into the sky, as if the painter were up at that level looking out over the roofs. Is it just me? Can we measure this objectively in the painting? What’s Brusati’s answer for this painting?

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  3. eplizzie,

    Thank you for your post.

    This was a very interesting painting. I agree with your analysis of the 4 points of perspective.

    I found it interesting how Vermeer decided to show scale for each of these points. The addition of the women in each doorway, as well as the additional roofs, provide a scale perspective. However, these additions are lacking in detail when compared to the design of the foreground brick-building.

    -Zach

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