The Old Masters: Vermeer’s Palette

The Old Masters: Vermeer’s Palette

Oil paintings techniques: Vermeer’s Palette

Oil-painting-techniques-old-masters-Vermeer-palette

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life.

Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime.

He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

The-Old-Masters-Vermeer-Palette-web-art-academy-course

One aspect of his meticulous painting technique was Vermeer’s choice of pigments.
He is best known for his frequent use of the very expensive ultramarine (The Milkmaid), and also lead-tin-yellow (A Lady Writing a Letter), madder lake (Christ in the House of Martha and Mary), and vermilion.

He also painted with ochres, bone black and azurite. The claim that he utilized indian yellow in Woman Holding a Balance has been disproven by later pigment analysis.

Vermeer’s Palette:

  • azurite
  • carmine
  • charcoal black
  • green earth
  • indigo
  • ivory black
  • lead white
  • lead-tin yellow
  • madder lake
  • red ochre
  • smalt
  • ultramarine
  • umber
  • weld
  • verdigris
  • vermillion
  • yellow ochre
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