The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer Painting Analysis

The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer Painting Analysis

The Lacemaker was purchased by the Louvre in 1870 for 1,254 French francs (equal to $254) It is the tiniest of all Vermeer's works.

The painting appears out of focus even abstract in spots, which was done on purpose by Vermeer to bring us closer to the work so we could examine its subtleties.

This is exactly what many people do when they gaze at the painting because of its small size.

A young woman is lace-making on a blue pillow while leaning forward. She is focused on her task and has two pins and two little cylinders with threads wrapped around them. She unrolls the threads from the cylinders onto the pillow in a lacemaking technique. 


The threads are knotted, each stitch is temporarily pinned, and the pins move forward as additional knots are tied. A yellow dress with a white lace collar is worn by the woman.

Her hair has a few splits, a braid on top, and a so-called lovelock on the left side. On top of the table is blue cloth with a huge flower. Large green leaves can be seen, and the yellow and red paint on the blooms can be seen. A blue pillow acts as a workbox for producing lace on top of the table. 


What is the value of the Lacemaker painting?

The very first artwork by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer to enter an auction was sold for $30 million at Sotheby's. So we can assume that the Lacemaker would at least be valued at $30 million. 

The Lacemaker Analysis

The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer

The elements next to the woman demonstrate Vermeer's understanding of perspective by shrinking in scale as they move away from the forefront. This gives a feeling of spaciousness, both for the spectator and for the lace-making woman who is the core of the artwork.

The strong woman, who occupies the work, in the same manner, a Madonna does in a religious painting, is lent more reality to the viewpoint.

Her veil of hair creates an aura about her head, and the captivated focus with which she attends to her work gives her face a supernatural quality.


Equally importantly, the artwork creates a space for the audience to reach inside and experience the work's components. Weaving fabric and lace were centuries-old crafts, mostly carried out by women.

Recent seventeenth-century notions on newton's laws of motion had educated the artist knowledgeable of the significance of "the spin," as well as how the sun, planets, and other stars interacted.

The earth is connected to the sun by an invisible thread of gravity. However, these seemingly random forces are under the influence of an unknown force, such as nature or God. 


The painting honors the woman and the respect with which she performs her work. As a woman spins her yarn over the wheel, the observer can virtually feel the threads conversing with each other and see the piece of lace develop.

The bobbins and threads used in lace-making reflect the woman's complete reality. This feeling is heightened by the bare wall, the darkness behind her. Vermeer regarded light as a material entity that emanated from elements outside of a figure, based on the shadow created in the background by her position and the variations of lights and shadows on her face and hands.

This depiction differs from how early religious landscape painters represented light as a subtle shimmer originating from a metaphysical matter.

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When compared to other mature works, it becomes evident that the tiny scale and similar view of the person best matched Vermeer's late artistic perspective. This may be attributable to the fact that Vermeer must have studied his art with the same concentration that he has represented in this painting.

It's important to remember that a woman's needle was formerly compared to a painter's brush by various 17th-century Dutch writers. In any case, the vibrantly colored threads that spill from the duvet quilting box and are shown with a dense but dynamic paint appear to support this similarity.

The use of optical disparities to accentuate a particular aspect is one of Vermeer's finest noteworthy compositional approaches. 


What was the Lacemaker's painted on?

Vermeer's Lacemaker was painted on a canvas with coarse fiber. 

The symbolism of the Lacemaker

Weaving, spinning, and embroidery of all types have all been linked with feminine virtue since ancient times.

Penelope, for example, in the Odyssey, keeps her worried suitors at bay while waiting for Ulysses' homecoming by weaving throughout the day and undoing her work at night.

In The Love Letter, Vermeer himself describes his girlfriend abandoning her stitching in favor of a lute. As a result, this respectable pastime is frequently shown in juxtaposition to more trivial pleasures. 

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Where can I find Vermeer's The Lacemaker?

The Louvre, often known as the Louvre Museum, is a museum in Paris, France.

Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer was born in the Dutch city of Leiden. He was a very meticulous and patient artist, which resulted in works with utmost precision, particularly in visual effects, and excellent compositional layouts.

Vermeer was a Baroque painter, whose paintings were characterized by lavish, sweeping lines, as opposed to Renaissance art's geometric elements. Vermeer's early paintings depict religious and mythological themes, but by the late 1650s, he had modified his source material to match that of his colleagues.

Vermeer's art was created using costly pigments, although he only used a few colors, roughly 20 pigments have been identified in his works  He is known for employing ultramarine, a highly expensive hue, in his artworks.


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