Luci LaSombra Vermeer Gallery

Back | Home

back to luci's site


The Girl on the Phone with the Tape Measure

Munched, True Falsies

Postcard, 1996 (NOT BY VERMEER)

This postcard appeared for sale at the time of the 1996 Vermeer exhibition, and it is a modern caricature of the great master. We can see sensitivity to the original themes in the treatment of light on the wall, the quarter sawn oak in the wardrobe at the right, and the globe at top right. The black-and-white floor tiles, with a border of blue-and-white Delft tile, are typical Vermeer, as is the rug draped on the table where the girl sits.

The girl is talking on a red telephone, almost naked, in front of a window. The window has curtains, but these are open: the Dutch people have a habit of letting people see into their houses, as if to say I have nothing to hide.

The telephone is a modern translation of the letters that Vermeer's women often seem to be reading, showing us that the women are far from their mundane surrounding, immersed in a far-away virtual world. Looking more closely, there seems to be a wedding ring on her finger, so we are left with the question of what far-away person she talks to, whether it is her husband. The globe, as in the real Vermeer paintings, strengthens this feeling of distance.

Instead of a representation of Judgment Day, as in A Woman Holding a Balance, the girl here is holding a tape-measure. In Vermeer's time, judgment came from Heaven, but perhaps today women are encouraged to judge themselves by the size of the waist-line.


Back • Home

back to luci's site