By: Jan Vermeer (1632 - 1675)
Created: ca 1685, Collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands Rights: Public Domain
This painting is still relatively easy to recreate. But you will need some props and the same type of room. A window in front of you will create the typical "kitchen atmosphere".
The Milkmaid (De Melkmeid or Het Melkmeisje), sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, is an oil-on-canvas painting of a “milkmaid”, in fact a domestic kitchen maid, by the Dutch artist Johannes (Jan) Vermeer. It is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which regards it as “unquestionably one of the museum’s finest attractions”.
The painting is strikingly illusionistic, conveying not just details but a sense of the weight of the woman and the table. “It’s a little bit of a Mona Lisa effect” in modern viewers’ reactions to the painting, according to Walter Liedtke, curator of the department of European paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and organizer of two Vermeer exhibits. “There’s a bit of mystery about her for modern audiences. She is going about her daily task, faintly smiling. And our reaction is ‘What is she thinking?'”