The three Delfts

Today’s Zippy crosses the subjects of Vermeer’s paintings with the Three Stooges:


Curly the silly one, the Geographer. Larry the unruly one, the Astronomer. And Moe the leader and guide, the Milk Maid. Ego, Id, and Superego.

In this strip, Bill Griffith exhibits both his appreciation of art and his affection for pop culture, in equal measure. Even surrealists have their affections and passions.

From Wikipedia:


The Three Stooges in 1938: Moe Howard, Curly Howard, Larry Fine

The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team active from 1928 until 1970, best known for their 190 Columbia short-subject films that are still syndicated on television. Their hallmark was physical farce and slapstick. In films, the Stooges were commonly known by their actual first names. There were a total of six stooges over the act’s run, with only three active at any given time, but Moe Howard and Larry Fine were mainstays throughout the ensemble’s run of more than forty years.

Though the Stooges personnel changed over the years, from 1934 through 1947 at Columbia Pictures, it was Larry, Moe, and Curly, and Moe was the de facto leader.

Then there’s Vermeer. The three paintings indexed in #1:






Milk Maid

From Wikipedia:

Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes. “Almost all his paintings are apparently set in two smallish rooms in his house in Delft; they show the same furniture and decorations in various arrangements and they often portray the same people, mostly women.”

On his reputation:

He was recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, but his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death. He was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbraken’s major source book on 17th-century Dutch painting (Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists), and was thus omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries. In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since that time, Vermeer’s reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.


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