Vermeer and the hieroglyphs

John Bjarne Grover

It is not likely that Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) knew about the egyptian hieroglyphs in any interesting way - but it seems that the hieroglyphs can be seen as an essential aspect of his work nevertheless. My study has shown that the glyphs can be attested in the white philosopher's stone and when the white stone can be seen as a materialization of the form of the human psyche, that is why the hieroglyphs can be predicted in Vermeer - because he paints the human psyche with high degree of necessity.

I could test my hypothesis with this - predicting that if the hypothesis made sense, then this particular glyph would be in that particular Vermeer. And the predictions were confirmed with the evidence. The following could be predicted - either directly (linearily) or via the 'Nono' factor - and that should suffice more than enough as evidence:

  1. egyptian vulture
  2. flowering reed
  3. 2 reed flowers, 2 obl strokes \\     
  4. forearm
  5. quail chick
  6. foot
  7. stool
  8. horned viper
  9. owl
10. water
11. mouth
12. reed shelter in fields
13. wick of twisted flax
14. placenta
15. animal belly with teats
16. bolt, folded cloth
17. pool
18. hill-slope
19. basket with handle
20. stand for jar
21. loaf
22. tethering rope
23. hand
24. snake
Vermeer work
  9. Young woman interrupted at music
12. A view of Delft
14. Woman with a lute
17. Woman in blue reading a letter
20. A lady writing
22. Girl with a pearl earring
25. Girl with a flute
  8. The astronomer
30. The love letter
35. The guitar player
24. Girl with a red hat
26. The art of painting
29. The lacemaker
32. Allegory of the catholic faith
34. Young woman seated at a virginal
  2. Christ in the house of Mary and Martha
  5. The letter reader (Young woman reading a letter)
  7. The milkmaid
10. Young woman with a wine glass
13. Young woman with a water pitcher
15. The music lesson (A woman at a virginal with a gentleman)
  1. Diana and her companions
  4. A maid asleep
  6. Cavalier and young woman

(The enumeration of the hieroglyphs follows Gardiner's 'Egyptian grammar', Griffith Institute, Oxford 2012, wherefrom I have also quoted the graphic forms, and the enumeration of Vermeer's work follows Liedtke's 'Vermeer - the complete paintings', Ludion 2011).

The most impressive one from the viewpoint of my analysis of the hieroglyphs relative to the white stone is the tethering rope in 'Diana and her companions': That is the proof that Vermeer has reached the hieroglyphs via the form of the human psyche in the white stone.

One otherwise searches rather fruitlessly in the artwork for this hieroglyphic form. (In fact the reshaping from Vermeer's 'Diana' to the hieroglyphic form - with its notable evidential value - can be seen to be the same as Nono's 'calibration').

Given the obvious 'horned viper' in the astronomer, one easily spots the 'snake' in the geographer - when it is given in the cavalier. It is about looking out the window, as usual with Vermeer.

There is a hand in 'A maid asleep' (the table cloth and the metaphysical object at the pitcher) - but one could perhaps see also the reed shelter in fields? I would suppose, though, that 'A maid asleep' mainly is about the 'hand' since that is both horizontal and 45 degrees in my interpretation relative to the white stone - and that is what the table cloth is in Vermeer's work: It folds up mystically in 45 degrees (like her sleep) and produces a sleepy metaphysical glass-like object of mystic character next to the pitcher.

John Bjarne Grover
On the web 5 april 2018