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Which came first The Milkmade by Vermeer or Marc Jacobs?  A silly question, really.  However it is never silly to discount the importance of art and how it influences are timeless.  The Milkmade has been painted with one of the most expensive pigments of all time, ultramarine- which comes from the stone Lapis Lazuli- found primarily in Afghanistan.  Vermeer developed the luminous quality of the skirt with layers of less expensive pigments and only used the ultramarine in the highlights.  What is quite astonishing is that he achieved this standard of painting in only 36 paintings total.  That is something to think about in our consumerist society of today.  Quality vs. Quantity.

In Spring 2009, Marc Jacobs presented this look with a skirt of the high shine fabric that created excitement and movement, however he did not create a skirt of equal value to Vermeer’s.  I wonder if Marc Jacobs thought about The Milkmade when he made this look.  I will likely never know.  It is interesting to me to make the ties from the art world to the world that we live in today and see how much we still reference on a daily basis, obvious or not.  Marc Jacobs got the The Milkmade out of the house, yet she still possesses the poetry of timeless- a powerful woman with love on her mind.  Please listen to this inspiring and insightful talk about Vermeer’s piece by Walter Liedtke.

Feedback and comments are welcome!

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