I found this an interesting exercise that required me to do a bit of research, while I had heard of Vermeer, I had not previously come across the paintings of David Wilkie (nor indeed heard of genre paintings).
Of the various options given for annotations for this exercise I chose a Vermeer painting at the National Gallery and a Wilkie painting at the Tate.
It is so important to see the original paintings when doing these annotations, otherwise it is difficult to get a sense of scale and appreciate the very subtle colouring and textures that you cannot get from even the best reproductions.
I spent a lot of time looking at the Vermeer, noting something different the more I looked at it. What I think makes it so special is an almost pearly lighting effect the artist achieves, that and the direct gaze of the central subject.
As I said I had not heard of Wilkie or of genre painting until a few weeks ago, that is the great thing about this course, you learn so many new things and I am fortunate enough to then be able to go and see them at first hand. What I also enjoyed in this exercise was how the artist was considered by his then peers, of the fears that Sir Joshua Reynolds had that work such as Wilkie’s would become accepted and approved in the Royal Academy.
My two annotations are attached, as usual the pictures are removed so as not to breach anyone’s copyright.