This world is driving us all crazy, it is polarized, violent, in a rush, inconsiderate, uneducated, younameit. But there are a few solutions, a few ways out. One is art. We need more art in our lives. Art makes us slow down, it makes us stop, stop and look, stop and listen, stop and touch, stop and smell, stop and taste.
Last Saturday, although I was just coming out of a massive cold, I went to see A Quiet Abiding: Jacobus Vrel’s Interior with a Sick Woman by a Fireplace from the n at my oasis of culture and art: the Norton Museum of Art.
I arrived at the same time as the Chinese Dragon show was about to start in the garden to celebrate the Lunar New Year, but I went straight upstairs to see this painting, which will be on show at the Norton for two years.
Little is known about Vrel other than he barely preceded Vermeer, in fact the painting has an air of Vermeer, but apparently it is the other way around Vermeer has an air of Vrel.
The painting is beautiful, simple, quiet, and alluring. You want to make some tea for the sick old lady, some chicken soup. There is a weak fire in the fireplace, and that flickering flame, a handful of tiny brushstrokes, makes the painting, brings it all together, it is amazing!! A little like the flowers in infanta Margarita Teresa de Austria’s dress in Velazquez’s Meninas.
If you are around Palm Beach up until December 15 2024, do not miss this painting. You are welcome.