Formal Analysis Essay “Woman Holding a Balance” I. This is a religious piece of art. A. The painting that Vermeer placed in the background is “The last Judgement” by Jacob de Backer which depicts Jesus Christ in heaven with extended arms. B. The woman in the image is pregnant which creates a sense holiness to the eyes of the viewer. C. The balance which the woman is looking at and holding is empty and implies the acquiring and maintain of a balanced life which will lead you to your final judgement. II. It is a realistic image. A.
The image of the woman portrayed in this piece is a natural and real looking one. B. The image and its components are not exaggerated and is left without and distortions. C. This is an image of a real human being in the real world. III. Emphasis is placed on the woman A. The woman is the focal point of this image. B. An emphasis is placed on her through Vermeers use of shape and color intensification. C. The artist uses light to direct the viewers eyes toward the woman and her pregnant belly. D. Everything else in the image is shaded in darker hues. E.
The image has a low contrast value pattern because the colors are all dark. IV. Vermeer produces an illusion of holiness upon the woman on the image. A. The woman is strategically placed under shining light. B. The artist creates implied lines in the triangular shape of the sunlight coming in through the window to direct the focus onto her. C. The point of the triangle starts at the window an opens up upon the pregnant woman holding the balance. D. A psychological line can be found in connection between the womans eyes and the balance she holds in her right hand.
E. The womans right hand places a connection of the viewers eyes onto her pregnant belly behind her left hand. V. The artist uses atmospheric perspective. A. Vermeer uses color to create depth in this piece. B. The background of the image is darker than the foreground. C. The objects in the front and center of the image are more detailed than those surrounding the woman and behind her. D. The artist uses shape to provide emphasis upon the woman. The fram surrounding the painting in the background is also framing the womans face. E.
The triangular shape of the shining light is also used in creating the atmospheric perspective of the image. VI. This works creates peace and tranquility in the viewer. A. The colors used by the artist and the expression on the womans face send out a feeling of harmony. B. The woman is pregnant which is a period of tranquility and joy in a womans life which also creates a sense of hope. C. The woman looks relaxed and at peace almost holy. D. The shining light upon her gives her and her pregnant belly provides a sense of holiness.