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Milkmaids & other Old Masters

Marja van Putten is working as an artist since 1990 in Amsterdam. The Milkmaid series she started in 1992 in her studio in the Jordaan in Amsterdam

She reconstructed the famous, so-called painting ‘the Milkmaid’ of Vermeer, painted the wall and the window of her studio, covered everything laying on the table with bronze paint and whipped cream, copied the plinth with the Delft Blue tiles and put the attributes in the right place. Somebody else put her in the right Milkmaid position.

They discovered that the girl in the pose, painted by Vermeer, never could have poured the milk into the bowl, while her face at the same time is turned into the direction of the spectator, as in Vermeer’s painting.  She would have made a mess!

About 100 years ago, most old masters depicted women with a headscarf or cap. From 2004 – 2008 she played with a number of images from famous paintings and icons to show the women with headscarves in many different ways. Paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, but also Little Red Riding Hood, Droste, etc. This creates a broad picture of the veil as a symbol of virginity and hidden sexuality and  between two extreme types, the whore and the virgin. The headscarf was a symbol to protect, seduce, provoke, trap, discriminate …

Of course, the subject of headscarves today has a political meaning, but her first reference is always down to the history of painting.

Recensie Noord Hollands Dagblad 15-8-2019