The Peace Within

Jan Vermeer 1632-1675

The gentleness and peace reflected in the faces of the many young women that Vermeer painted is an outstanding characteristic of his body of work of which only a small number are extant. For example, when we view Young Woman With A Water Pitcher (1660-62) we see that “Vermeer focused many of his scenes on a female figure lost in thought while in the midst of a daily activity. He discovered in such quiet moments of contemplation, when one gazes outward but looks within, a window into an individual’s spiritual nature. Here the woman’s reverie occurs as she stands near the corner of a room, holding the frame of a leaded-glass window in one hand and a water pitcher in the other. Partially because of the fluidity of her pose, but also because of the gentleness of her expression and the serenity of the deep blues of her dress, she communicates a sense of purity and inner peace.”

Among the most difficult aspects of reality to grasp intellectually is the present moment beyond time and space. It is, however, very easy to experience because it is always there when we stop the frenetic mind and just allow the Now to emerge from behind the distractions as the sun emerges when the obscuring mists melt away. We can feel it when Jan Vermeer captures “the tranquil timelessness of the moment” in his painting The Lacemaker (1665).

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References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

 

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