New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut. Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2013. Accession Number 2013.54.93
| Image Notes
Reference Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, c. 1662-64. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Source: A color photograph of the painting in the museum's frame on the wall in the Rijksmuseum. The curator at the Rijksmuseum sent the photograph in response to George Deem's request for it.
| Artist's Notes
Do not frame this painting
Talking about my new painting of Vermeer's "Woman in Blue Reading a Letter."
The plan is to paint a copy actual size, about 18 x 15 inches, then including the frame in the composition. It would be the frame that is on the painting which is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The canvas will measure a few inches larger than the frame making the stretcher 29 x 26 inches. This allows for the shadow of the frame to show on the museum's wall.
The satisfaction obtaining in this plan is to have an image of that painting being seen the way it is seen, no longer the usual reproduction. …This will be a painting of the Vermeer with a painting of the frame with its shadow. Photorealism comes to mind having a photograph of the painting in the frame -- yet there is a turn. It is actually a painting, a copy of the original with a frame painted around the picture, which is the frame holding the original in the Museum in Amsterdam. This is a moment of the gaze moving toward deciphering what is seen -- a moment. Moments of this kind are found in trompe l'oeil, yet this isn't real trompe l'oeil because of the absence of the visual re-focusing. This is more of a mental re-focusing -- part of a thought. What you see is what it is, yet it is a painting of what is seen. This is how to see a painting.
"The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter" becomes an icon in a frame. Here, there is no point in analyzing Vermeer's painting because it is not his painting, but a copy. It is not a Vermeer, and the painting in the frame cannot be any other painting because that painting image is the story.
"The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter" is the key Vermeer painting. Without this painting, any of his other works lessen. Now if I make it into a public image, it becomes another thing. This is not what Duchamp did, and I do not know if Duchamp's treatment of the Mona Lisa is the kickoff of my idea. (Notebook entry, 2008)