Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Fifth Round: Steen v. Vermeer!

"Semifinals" designates the Fourth to Seventh Rounds of the Infinite Art Tournament.  This is a Fifth Round Match.  This all-Dutch, all-Golden Age match pits Jan Steen (4-0, 32-12, .727) against Jan Vermeer (4-0, 38-11, .776). They beat Tinguely and Turner, respectively.

Jan Steen
1626ish - 1679
Steen is unique among leading 17th-century Dutch painters for his humour; he has often been compared to the French comic playwright Molière, his contemporary, and indeed both men treated life as a vast comedy of manners.... He was a master at capturing subtleties of facial expression, especially in children. His best works display great technical skill, particularly in the handling of colour. During Steen’s last years, his paintings began to anticipate the Rococo style of the 18th century, becoming increasingly elegant and somewhat less energetic, as in the Serenade (c. 1675), and showing a heavy French influence and an increased flamboyance.
- The Britannica
  • Defeated Frank Stella in Round 1 by a two-vote swing. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Won easily against Adriaen van Ostade in Round 2.
  • Beat Graham Sutherland easily in Round 3.
  • Beat Jean Tinguely in Round 4 by a safe margin.

Jan Vermeer
1632 - 1675
Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632-1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter from the ‘Golden Age of Dutch Painting’. He was obscure during his lifetime; but in the Nineteenth Century, his work was brought to light, and he is now regarded as one of the greatest proponents of Baroque painting – with his focus on simple portraits and household scenes.... Jan was a slow worker, producing only three paintings a year. This was partly due to his technique of granular painting. He built up layers of colour – a technique known as pointille. This enabled a depth of colour to shine through. He was meticulous in capturing the light and colour of his various subjects.
- Biography Online
  • Beat Veronese easily in Round 1.
  • Vanquished Maria Elena Vieira da Silva in Round 2.
  • Trounced Félix Vallotton in Round 3.
  • Beat Turner in Round 4 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Fourth-round matches are open for at least three months after posting.


Morgan said...


Christine M. said...


boonec1974 said...

Battle of the 17th century Dutch dude! I'll take the more popular one, at least in their times: Steen.

Michael5000 said...

Laurence and Matt go for Vermeer on the FB feed.

Michael5000 said...

Mariah votes for Vermeer.

Chance said...

Wow, this is a tough matchup. As much as Vermeer is a master, I have to go with Steen. He's the Dutch Pieter Breugel!

DrSchnell said...


Michael5000 said...

Susan votes for Vermeer.

Michael5000 said...

Steen is wonderful, but Vermeer has a grace and charm that is beyond words.

Candida said...


mrs.5000 said...

Whoa, who knew? Vermeer can even knock a cityscape out of the park. He has this introvert's vote, hands down.

Michael5000 said...

Vermeer wins with reasonable dispatch here, bringing in eight votes to Steen's four and moving on to a potentially tough match with Michelangelo. Steen will be out of action for a few months, but will eventually take on a new contender in the Left Bracket.