General, Part 4

Concepts from painting

Vermeer has mastered the highest precision  in showing texture, color and form of objects avoiding for the painting to look tough or tormented. Avoiding any brutal contrast Vermeer had the talent of rounding the contours of the object without diminish its solidity. He used a combination of subtle tones. “(1)

“Whencontours are not very solid , letting the form to be somehow vague like it would disappear into semi-shadow that impression of rigidity disappears. The Italians had named this technique sfumato – a veiled contour, soft colors , letting the forms to loose in one another and giving room for imagination. …the expression of the face depend on the eyes and lips, Leonardo da Vinci had let them to be vague so the disposition of the face remain mysterious.”(2)

A technique similar to the sfumato is developed by photographers too.Usingsoft-focus blur of the face, photographers like Julia Margaret Cameron and later Edward Steichen made facial features slightly vague as the means by which spectators might more easily project impressions onto the portraits.”(3)

(1),(2) E.H.Gombrich – History of art 2012

(3) David Bate – Photography 2009


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