Johannes (or Jan) Vermeer remains a mystery, despite the enduring popularity of his paintings. He only lived from 1632 to 1675. Only about three dozen of his paintings have survived, and no early sketches or drawings have been found. Vermeer painted scenes of everyday life from a very particular time in his city of Delft, in what is now the Netherlands. Yet somehow these scenes continue to fascinate us.
Raczka has imagined what it would be like to interview the people who posed for seven of these paintings so long ago. By “talking” with the people in the painting, Raczka introduces some basic art concepts like color theory, composition, and process. It’s a very accessible way to start conversations about art with children. I like the way Raczka uses details in the paintings to give insight into life in this period.
If you’re interested in learning more about art with your child, I’d also recommend these other books by Raczka: Name That Style: Isms In Art, More Than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art With All Five Senses, Here’s looking At Me: How Artists See Themselves and 3-9 ABC: a Sculptural Alphabet.
reviewed by Victoria
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