Tuesday, 29 November 2011

...the sloe-black dark...

Woman at a Window
Jacobus Vrel

When we were in Cambridge we went to the excellent Vermeer exhibition at the Fitzwilliam museum. The gallery was crowded with visitors entranced by the luminous beauty of The Lacemaker but this is the painting that made me pause. There is no information about the woman with her back to us. The domestic details are minimal in the sparse, dark room. She leans out of the window to the light of the world beyond. I hold this image in my head as a reminder of the friendship that I find when I look outwards.

...I sit on a stone after lunch and consider the glow
Of the sun through mist, a pearl bulb containèdly fierce;
A rain-shower darkens the schist for a minute or so
Then it drifts away and the sloe-black patches disperse...

from "Achill" by Derek Mahon


  1. I need to take time away from the preparations, head out of the Grand Arcade and lose myself in the Fitz for an hour or two before this exhibition disappears. Might have to take Mr DC while the small ones are at choir this Saturday ...

  2. A group of friends and I walked past the Fitzwilliam on Saturday and it was mooted that we go in. However, the call of Prosecco and nibbles called too loudly from Browns {it was good fun! but shame to miss out on Vermeer}.

  3. Your way with words, with pictures, with poetry ...
    Bb summed it up perfectly in two words.

  4. Thank you. I love Vermeer. I will try to go when we collect next weekend.

  5. No chance of me getting there but I keep seeing the images on my laptop. I like the one you have chosen to show, I am always drawn to pictures of doorways and windows. In fact I am noted for my propensity to sit at my doorstep in warm weather and to hang out of my bedroom window to talk to neighbours before I venture out.

  6. That is a lovely painting. I love the colors, and the window, and what is she doing? -- What are you knitting?

  7. I visited the exhibition yesterday and this was one of my favourites. Did you get to see the special exhibition of lace too? Just one small cabinet but it was exquisite.

  8. So beautiful. This painting has such capacity to make you feel as if you are in the room. Those amazing windows. I miss England to much!


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