8 Ways Vermeer’s Work Can Make Its Mark in Your Home
Go Dutch with stained glass, Oriental rugs, checkered floors and delft tile.
Even with only about three dozen paintings to his name, Johannes Vermeer is considered one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. (His Girl With a Pearl Earring painting caused a craze on a recent two-year world tour.) Painted with utmost care and the clarity of a photograph, Vermeer’s paintings mostly depict ordinary domestic scenes, often of ephemeral figures in the crisp northern light inside two rooms of his home in Delft, Netherlands.
Although you may think you and the 17th-century Dutch artist are worlds apart, you may be surprised to see how his paintings can shape your home’s interior for the better.
1. Install a stained glass window. In Vermeer’s day, stained glass windows were plentiful. Glass was expensive, so windows were made from small pieces of glass held together by lead strips. While stained glass is still made today, it’s often associated with religious buildings or those small decorative artworks held in place by a suction cup.
A stained glass window isn’t just a beautiful piece of art, it’s functional as well. It adds pattern and color, and depending on the glass, it can provide privacy without blocking light.
2. Invest in an Oriental rug. Look at most any Vermeer (or 17th-century Dutch painting for that matter), and you’re likely to see an Oriental rug. Vermeer probably included them to demonstrate his talent in rendering all things intricate. While this one is shown draping a woman’s legs, most in his day were used as table coverings instead of on the floor.
Shown:The Procuress (1656)
3. Checker your floor. Vermeer’s home clearly had checkered floors, and the plucky pattern also showed off his prowess in expressing perspective and depth in his paintings.
Shown:The Music Lesson (1662-65)