Contrasting & Comparative Analysis: “the Music Lesson” vs “Las Meninas”

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  • Topic: Las Meninas, Diego Velázquez, Girl
  • Pages : 4 (1451 words )
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  • Published : December 6, 2011
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Contrasting & Comparative Analysis

During the Western European Baroque movement, Jan Vermeer and Diego Velazquez were two significant artists. “The Music Lesson” a painting by Vermeer and “Las Meninas”, a painting by Velazquez, compare significantly but also share contrasted traits. While both “Las Meninas” and “The Music Lesson” are defined by their use of mirroring, light and realism, the fundamental differences of both works are outlined by the artists use of subject matter, room decor or set up and the shift in foreground and background reflection; using indirect and direct perspective. Both paintings express great contrast and comparison with one another whilst being both denotative and connotative in their description. Vermeer’s “The Music Lesson” is considered elegant, compositionally harmonious and well constructed. The piece itself shows a great depiction of depth through the illusion of perspective using light. “The Music Lesson” houses two figures; an older male figure, dressed elegantly in a black jacket trimmed with white lace and a younger female figure dressed in a navy and red gown with a white blouse. The female is denoted as the student of the male figure. To the viewer the painting also denotes a “The Music Lesson” being taught by the older man. This is shown in Vermeer’s use of illuminated instruments. The instruments include an old wooden boxed keyboard with black and golden detail painted on it. The female stands in front of the keyboard whilst her instructor examines her. A wooden cello rests on the ground behind the young woman. The cello although not being used is still considered an important item that references the theme of music and playing. Vermeer uses domestic items in his paintings, such as the table cloth coloured in red and gold, the white vase adorned with gray shadows, the dark marble floor to emphasize a lived in space. Vermeer’s use of perspective in his work implements depth to both the walls and the marble floor....
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