Johannes Vermeer's Woman Holding A Balance

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At first glance this Johannes Vermeer’s painting only 16 x 15 inches titled Woman holding a Balance, does not appear to be anything other than a well-crafted representational portrait of a woman. Nothing seems special about her arm is stretching out in front of her holding an empty jewelers balance over a full jewelry box. However, when one takes a second look at the painting, painted in 1662-1663 during the Italian Renaissance; a story of religious judgment began to unfold raped in religious symbolism centered on Vanitas (vanity). Woman Holding a Balance is a commentary on the excess of life and how one looks at it while considering how they will be judged in the afterlife at the second coming of Christ. During the renaissance the church influenced the content of the paintings they commissioned from many artist of the time. They wanted the artist to paint pictures that illustrated what they were trying to teach from bible because…show more content…
His use of line and light helps to articulate this painting and its hidden lessons. The implied diagonal lines of light from the window aluminates the curtain and the front of the woman; directing the lines toward the table. The eye then follows the contour, cross contour and implied lines of the excessively expensive purple fabric cascading off the table descending into the shadows on the left side of the painting moving to the box of jewels. The full jewelry box is bathed in a hint of light displaying the implied lines of the pearls, as they direct the eyes to the focal point the woman’s hand holding the balance. Then the lines moves the eye to her face lit by the light from the window where she has an expression of contemplation. She seems to be lost in thought as if she is pondering what the empty scale is implying about what is to come the in finial

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