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Posted inArt

Did Vermeer’s Daughter Paint 20% of His Works?

Imagine for a moment that in the days after Johannes Vermeer’s death in 1675, that his widow Catharina and eldest daughter Maria, sitting in a darkened room of the Vermeer home, conspired to settle their numerous family debts in a secretive way. Owing their baker the largest sum of money, the widow and her daughter would give up two of the Master’s last paintings to settle their debt. In a theory developed by Cooper Union art history professor Benjamin Binstock, the two debt-settling paintings were actually the work of the daughter, Maria Vermeer.

Posted inArt

How to Be a Lady Painter

I think it’s funny that Patricia Albers’s recent and authoritative biography on Joan Mitchell was given the subtitle “Lady Painter.” It’s my only guess that Mitchell’s lifestyle and her painting were so out of character for the time that the term becomes ironic. The artist was known for her camaraderie with Cedar Tavern macho dudes like de Kooning and Pollock, her hangout sessions with beatnik poets, her ability to party, and her tendency to drink and sleep around with bravado. At the time these activities and attitudes were thought to be reserved for men. Mitchell gradually carved out a space for her paintings to be given the same treatment.