Friday, January 31, 2020

Dutch Masters

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, c.1662 - c.1665 - Johannes Vermeer

I was lucky enough to go on a bus trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art this week. It had been my dream to see their exhibit of the Dutch Masters, and that dream came true on Monday! What a trip!
I admired 600+ paintings by Dutch artists, including Rembrandt, students of Rembrandt, Franz Hals, Vermeer and more. The exhibit is titled: In Praise of Painting... and it is just that. 

My favorite:  this painting by Johannes Vermeer: Young Woman with a Water Pitcher. I wanted to write about it. Poetry written in response to art is called ekphrastic poetry. Here is my attempt:

In Praise

She stands at the window
Her coif of bleached linen
Gaze tilting out
Light bathing the room

She touches the window
Calm and contented
One hand holds a pitcher
Light bathing the room

The brilliance of white
The depth of the blue
The shadows and hues as they meet
The red on the table
The yellowing map
And the light
Fully bathing the room

© Karen Eastlund

Thanks for stopping by, and... please leave me your comments.

You are invited to join in Poetry Friday, hosted today by Jone Rush MacCulloch at deowriter.  
Learn more about Poetry Friday from Renee LaTulippe at No Water River.  It's poetry fun!!!


  1. Wonderful poem; I always enjoy ekphastic poems because they're like a double gift. How lucky to see the Dutch masters at the MET!

  2. I do so want to go in museum hopping in NYC. I live a LI Railroad ride away but there never seems to be enough time during any week lately. I am so glad that you shared today that beautiful painting and your ekphrastic poem. I like the progressive of the repetitive phrase with one word added at the end. See you on Thursday for SJT, Karen.

    1. Thanks, Carol. I hope you can get to the Met... so worth it!

  3. I loved your poem! I am also thrilled that you got to go to the Met and see the paintings! Vermeer was one of the first (maybe the first) to paint regular people doing everyday things. He clearly had light figured out!

    1. Thanks, Becky... yes, he was among the first to paint everyday people. Some surmise that this is his wife. So beautiful... I was surprised at the relatively small size of this painting... around 20inches by a little less than 20 inches. I wish it filled an entire wall...

  4. That sounds like an amazing exhibit. I enjoyed your poem in response to the Vermeer painting.

  5. I am just amazed that someone can paint like that. Sounds silly, perhaps, but their talents are so awesome. Our art museum is about to complete a beautiful Monet exhibit, so I know a little of how you feel in the viewing. I love that repetition of bathing, Karen. The light is spectacular.

  6. Gorgeous painting! I wonder what she's thinking about?

  7. What a wonderful way to remember your visit, Karen! A lovely response to a beautiful painting.

  8. This line: coif of bleached linen. Writing poetry to pictures is why I love taking photos.