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Johannes Vermeer, The Allegory of Faith, 1670 - 72

Not a common subject for domestic, unknown, unsupported, post-republic Vermeer but, another of his glamorous paintings. In the 17th century glamour was rare. Glamour was an artistic/alchemical study of light, reflection, mirror, and lens.  All vision is reflected light but “glamour” was the cultivation of highlights in painting.

The blue might suggest that this model represents The Madonna, her foot on the globe, a snake crushed by what looks like a book. The allegory is interesting, in your face, but; not important to my study of glamour.

The glitter of jewellery, probably pearls in her hair and composing her necklace, the gold threads of the trim of her dress, her satin, the chalice, and the glitters upon the crucifix are what appeals to me.

The white of her eye.

The higher orders of glamour probably referred to studio secrets of the masters and their lenses. Mouse over or touch the above to see a close up of that enigmatic glass sphere which reflects the room and the light source through the windows of Vermeer's studio.

I was one of six photographers. We were in the studio to study it's lighting systems.

Phil, the Studio Director explained the use of his ambient light, reflected light, and radio controlled flash systems. My camera is not compatible with the studio. I am waiting for a hot shoe adapter to arrive from Japan before I can return and take advantage of the lighting.

Mandy is the Lighting Director acting as model with a light meter in her left hand and a radio camera hot shoe that fires the flashes in her right.

Acting as gaffer and Phil as best boy.

Then when the lighting is perfect, the extraordinary model and the talented photographer are of the same mind. The magic happens. Mundane reality becomes transformed Olympian.

I couldn't tune into the flash system to access the cool, cleansing soft machined Rococo light of the holy mountain... but, a good start. Mandy is great. She knows what she is doing and that is half the creativity, half the work done.

Glamour in the 21st century.

I believe the studio functions like an old master's studio. We amateur photographers are an income. Locally famous models are hired by the maestros. The studio organized groups of photographers share in the expense of hiring both model and studio and photographic expertise.

I am not certain if I will go through with this not completely easy or comfortable fit of a painter in a glamour studio. It might be fun to paint... differently. Not the same as I have been doing. Rub shoulders with a different crowd and a different way of thinking.

My present approach to glamorous highlight... mouse over or touch... will have to undergo some smoothing, feminisation, and beautification.

Mandy wrote: "Thank you so much for the behind the scenes (photographs)! You are always welcome in the studio. I wonder if you will paint a picture of me ; ) "

The work of models.

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