The Allegory of Faith, Vermeer

The Allegory of Faith, Vermeer
The Allegory of Faith, Vermeer

The little information about Vermeer's life has meant that historical accuracy is combined with legend in his production, not even his artistic production is extensive enough - only about thirty-six works have been found signed by the author- to provide reliable data about his artistic personality.


What does seem to clearly influence Vermeer's painting is the historical reality that surrounded him, in this sense the 17th century is an invaluable source of inspiration for the artist of in the same way that for us the Delft paintings have become an authentic graphic document of the time. Most of the artist's paintings are genre works starring women that take place in an interior space.

The painting that we analyze on this occasion is very similar to the others in that its protagonist is a lady and takes place in the same interior as the rest of his compositions, however on this occasion we are faced with an allegorical painting en titled The allegory of faith, according to art experts this would have to be the second allegory painted by the baroque artist, the first of them would date from 1666 and would be called The art of painting.

On this occasion we find ourselves before an oil on canvas in a vertical format and small dimensions, barely reaching one hundredsix inches tall and just over eighty-eight wide. The piece is currently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York without knowing exactly who its original client may have been; Some experts consider the hypothesis that the Jesuit order could have commissioned the piece from the Delft master, however it seems that this hypothesis has been discarded in recent times since the Jesuit aesthetic was much more ornate than Vermeer's painting.

Behind a rich curtain we can see the figure of an elegantly dressed lady, she rests one of her feet on a representation of the terrestrial globe of Jadocus Hondius,while she is carried to the chest one of his hands in a theatrical gesture. The lady leans on a table on which appears a chalice, a wooden crucifix and an open book that clearly appears to be the Bible. Completing the composition appears in the background, behind the lady, a painting by Jacob Jordaens that Vermeer has modified to his liking.

Popular topic