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| Image Notes
Original Title: The House of Vermeer(See Artist's Notes).
There is a 35 mm slide of the work in progress in the photo archive.
On the reverse of a photograph the artist wrote that the size is 91 x 73 cm. Question: Is the painting 91 x 73 cm or 92 x 73 cm?
| Artist's Notes
She -- Girl with a turban is not there. She is living somewhere else or even might be dead. Every home has an Anne Frank. Home is a painting of home and its occupations and activities. It could be a poster or like a tavern sign hanging from a rod over the door.
Starting from the girl in the oval and going clockwise: the texture of the brick is like the texture of the woman weighing gold in the attic room. An attic room is always different from other rooms. The corners are dusty and the light is bad, the smell is different.
The family room. In Holland the ground floor is a public floor. The next floor up is the family's.
Home reads from left to right like a great paragraph starting with Girl with a turban.
Some of the Vermeer compositions are crowded. There is one combination of two Vermeer paintings: The Artist in his Studio and The Concert. Both compositions must be slightly altered to allow them to be combined. Also in HOME it is the memory of the paintings. Color is never accurate in memory. When thinking of home blue can substitute for green just like red for yellow and vice versa. It is impossible for the artist to be painting the girl with a trumpet with a concert. But remember, this depiction of home is a reverie. The perspective and proportions are forced to make the essence of things depicted. It's like a fairy tale or a theatre piece -- not an actuality.
I have visited Delft and this building no longer stands. To begin with, it was not Vermeer's home, but a house he could see across the street from his window. Now it is a memory of a home and home life. The girl in a turban is a sentimental object hanging too high in the home. She is remembered not because she's done anything only because she is gone.
The woman standing at a virginal is actually in the next house. She does not, cannot fit into the given architectural space, therefore is a paste-on image that occupies that part of Vermeer's composition. The "blue" vine has been cut down from the original and the facade of the next building is able to be seen.
The woman with a pitcher is a cut-out placed above the brick wall as though there is a place for her to walk. She is green and gold. She is an imagined character that somehow, somewhere in this Brueghel-esque storytelling painting has had something to do up there.
Continue reading the applied images from left to right and now see the maidservant pouring milk at the far left bottom. Since the vine has been removed the upper window is able to be seen and the lower part, plus wall is removed so that the maidservant can be seen repeating her given (gesture) of pouring milk.
The green door with the rounded frame in Vermeer's painting has at last been opened. I've always wondered what was behind the door. It is an entrance hall that leads to a room then to a room that has a table with a red cloth on it. This room exists for itself, it leads nowhere, nor can any character that's in the picture possibly have anything to do with it. It is only my decision of what I could put behind the green door that would be Dutch.
Next to the open green door is a close copy of what Vermeer painted in the original painting. It does not cooperate with the forced interior of the open green door. It is the only opening that reads correctly in the makeup of the picture. It is perspectively Home.
All the shuttered windows are open and the interior becomes a tavern. Vermeer's home had a tavern on the ground floor. Here there is a public room with a map of The Netherlands hanging on the wall above the laughing girl. Above that is a copy of the original Vermeer painting that Home is taken from. One now has an opportunity to refer to the original, but there is a window frame carefully dividing it so that one doesn't get too dependent on the original painting and lose himself making comparisons for that is no way to see Home.
In the next doorway, the old woman who is sitting in the entrance is copied from the original painting. Behind her is a dim light that shows a woman receiving a letter from her maidservant. The women are painted in grisaille then colored. At the left of the maidservant there is a tooled leather wall hanging and it continues behind the structure of the house and can be seen through (the door) in the room with the laughing girl. This laughing girl could stand up and walk through that door and be in the same room with the woman receiving a letter from her maidservant. There is a picture, a landscape, above the maidservant, which shows that the room continues to have a high ceiling like the main tavern room.
At the right of the red shutter is a woman sitting near the window drinking wine. She is depicting that the tavern continues to that side of the door.
Home, the picture I used to think of as The House of Vermeer, is coming together again. There are times when a painting cannot tell me anything. The House of Vermeer had been so silent I decided it was not here and I began telling it what to do, and now it is telling me what should be done: Blue top and Red bottom. TODAY.
It always pleases me to make something to eat when it seems there is nothing in the house. ("Extra Genre," WhiteWalls: A Magazine of Writings by Artists, Summer 1981,p. 11).
I am finishing the painting Home. It has become friendly, loud, and very cooperative. I really like this picture. ("Extra Genre," WhiteWalls, p. 13).
Allan Stone Gallery, New York