In this essay, two pieces of art will be introduced and interpreted: The Milkmaid (circa 1657-1658) by Johannes Vermeer which is a Dutch Baroque oil painting that's 45. 5 x 41 CM located in Rasmussen, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Woman Baking Bread (1854) by Jean-François Millet which is a French Realism oil painting that's 55 x 46 CM located in Rasmussen Kerr¶leer-Mјleer, Otter, Netherlands. The agenda of this comparison is to understand different styles between the Dutch Baroque and French Realism, and to show how Vermeer and
Millet deal with the same every day domestic theme in a different way. During the 17th century, artists were focusing more on emotion and drama, also known as the Baroque time period. The overall style of Baroque art in paintings is "detailed realism in portraits, expansive landscapes, and a focus on the dramatic including the contrast between light and shadow and the use of rich, deep colors. " (Minded, 2. 05) Vermeer worked mainly in the Dutch Baroque style and does a magnificent Job in portraying and bringing to life an everyday task in the life of a servant girl in The Milkmaid.
On the other hand, Woman Baking Bread was painted in the Realist style during the 19th century. More specifically, this piece of art was painted in the French Realist style, which came about after the Revolution of 1848. Millet's "use of a simple, natural style with warmer colors and heavy application of paint" (Minded, 3. 15) are characteristic traits in a Realist painting. Both works of art magnificently depicts the everyday domestic life. True to both styles, they both realistically depict a woman doing an every day task. Vermeer's is that of a milkmaid oaring milk and Millet's is that of a woman baking bread.
However, both were painted in very different ways. Whereas Vermeer's work is a prime example of a Dutch Baroque painting with its realistic way of portraying an everyday task, the use of bold colors, the detail, and the deep contrast between light and dark, Millet's work is a prime example of a French Realist painting where the colors are warmer and much more simple. Vermeer was well known for his painstaking attention to detail. For example, "the Jug and hands of the servant in The Milkmaid reveals a number of enticements, created as the artist struggled to depict them convincingly. (Frantic, 7)