The Milkmaid is a painting painted by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. We don’t know so much about Johannes Vermeer life. He was married with Catherina Bolnes and he had eleven children. This artist is one of the most important painters of the Baroque period in the Law Countries.
The painting was made between 1660 and 1661, approximately, in the city of Delft where Johannes Vermeer lived.
The painting is very small about 45,4 x 41 cm like the most of the works of Johannes, the materials that he used are oil painting over canvas. At present the painting is in the Rijskmuseum in Amsterdam.
The painting has very reduced dimensions probably he used very small brushes and also lens to see better. In the painting we can distinguish three parts:
-The woman, a servant that is pouring milk in a container.
-The still life that formed by of the different elements over the table and in the wall.
-The corner when the action is developed.
One of the most representatives elements of the paintings of Vermeer's is the use of light. In this case the light comes from the window.
The theme of the painting is a domestic theme (in Protestant countries the themes of the paintings were more private because the works of art were commisioned by the bourgeois). In this painting the use of light and colour and the movement predominate.
The Milkmaid is a one of the most important paintings of the 17th century and has been appreciated by the best painters of 17th century. Another famous painting by Vermeer is the Girl with the pearl earring which is considered Vermeer's masterpiece.