Dec 11 2009

ALERT: Naughty Milkmaids

Published by under Cultural Passport Assigments

Vermeer Exhibit At the MET–The Milkmaid

Rating: 5 stars plus permanent admiration


Ok, first, let’s address the naughty aspects of Vermeer’s maids. I didn’t put naughty in my title only to make you read my blog.

  1. There is a subtle kind of sexuality and desire in Vermeer’s paintings that is hard to find by the modern-day public.
  2. Maids of the 17th century  = Pin-up girls of the 40’s and 50’s = Playboy Bunny of the 21st century = sex symbol.
  3. In the 17th century, the opening of the jug that the maid is holding can be interpreted as THE part of a female’s anatomy.
  4. The Maid is thinking of her lover. How can we tell? Through the depiction of Cupid and a man on the tiles, near the bottom of the painting.
  5. Male patrons usually bought Vermeer’s paintings to fantasize about a possible relationship they could have with their maids. Many of these patrons actually had sexual encounters with the maids.

And secondly, why do I love Vermeer so much? The answer is simple. It’s because no one says, “Less is more” as beautifully as Vermeer does.

One response so far

One Response to “ALERT: Naughty Milkmaids”

  1.   Aon 12 Dec 2009 at 3:41 am

    Damn, I only clicked this because I saw the word “naughty” in the title. I didn’t see much to this painting until I read your post. You’re REALLY into the subtle sexuality of this painting.