Analysis Of Johannes Vermeer's Paintings

The process of globalization is so uniquely displayed as Timothy Brooks uses Johannes Vermeer’s painting to illustrate the important events in the seventieth and eighteenth centuries, as well as shed light on the world, causing readers to think in a different manner. He shows that globalization was not simply because of one person, or one group of people, but many different cultures, thoughts, and ideas. Through the use of Vermeer’s paintings, Timothy Brooks discusses the rise of the global modern world and its intricate connection with The Creation of Adam painted by Michelangelo, as both reflect the economic and social changes that the world experienced through new trade routes, cultures, religious beliefs and a new era of learning and exploration. …show more content…
The age of exploration was all about discovering a new world. Columbus began by heading westward across the Atlantic in 1492 with his fleet of three small ships. According to Brooks, “he already understood that the world was round, and that sailing west would convey him to Asia”. He knew more than most, as he anticipated reaching China soon after Japan, but did not realize the large gap separating Europe and Asia, nor did he expect there to be land between them. Columbus’ curiosity and discovery lead to the exploration of the Americas and the rest of the world. I think Vermeer’s painting entitled The Geographer is an excellent example of the age of exploration, as I think he is using this painting to show the growth of knowledge about the world. Prior to the age of exploration, little was known about geography of the world. Many people became discovers by mistake and learned from their lack of knowledge. In particular, Brooks uses the example of a Spanish Jesuit Adriano de las Cortes who “experienced the consequence of having less than “complete knowledge” of the South China Sea on the morning of 16 February 1625, when Nossa Senhora de Guía was driven onto the rocks of the Chinese coast.” This ship was not intended to go to China at all, but this is a great example of the learning done during this time, changing the world into what …show more content…
Brooks realized this, as he took great interest in discussing the Chinese porcelain and tobacco. Vermeer’s painting Young Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window shows a woman with a Chinese dish filled with fruit as the centerpiece of the picture, as Chinese dishes, commonly known as china, were very popular in Dutch life. China became a commodity among all Europeans due to its elegance and quality. Not only was it popular as decoration but, “these dishes became part of the emergence of a newly popular painting genre, still life’s, which seventeenth-century Dutch artists turned into an art form.” Not only do I think the Dutch liked these dishes, but I think they also showed their sophistication and connections they shared with outside countries. Along with the trading of porcelain, tobacco demand became very high in Europe during the seventeenth century and beyond. Tobacco was seen as a social platform to Europeans as it states, “in daily life, tobacco was an important medium of sociability that, like healing, was something that benefited from the spirits' kind support.” Brooks even went on to say, “just as it was thought to ease a wide variety of complaints from toothache and snakebite to convulsions and hunger and even asthma, tobacco eased whatever problem arose between the natural and the supernatural worlds

Related Documents