Johannes Vermeer was an acclaimed 17th century Dutch painter and also the inspiration for our new stained glass window recently installed in the foyer of The Vermeer on Fourth Ave in Vancouver’s iconic Kitsilano neighbourhood.
The window is an homage to Vermeer’s painting “The Glass of Wine”, however unlike the original seduction scene in the painting, our window depicts two figures enjoying a subtle flirtation over a nice glass of wine! The design of the window has a more contemporary feel in the placement of the figures and other elements, and in the way that the features and drapery are painted. Unlike painting with oils on canvas, painting on glass needs to allow the light through; techniques of stippling and shading result in sharp tonal values and contrast of light and shade viewed through jewel-like glass colours.
The stained glass “window within a window” contains fragments of painted glass that are over 150 years old, collected during our career in the UK. Geometric elements from this section of the design have been expanded to provide a feature for the background to the figures. The contrasting warm yellows, ambers and ochres allow the figures to stand forward prominently and accent the Vermeer Red and Vermeer Blue which are featured throughout the building. The crest of the Thomas family (Thomas Properties) is depicted to tie in with the use of the crest in the stone of the exterior of the building; this is the only colour version in the building and provides visual continuity.
The Vermeer project was a wonderful opportunity to use the traditional artistry of glass painting within a contemporary setting, and to show the huge range that is possible with this exciting art form.
Click here to see archival quality prints of this artwork