Allegory of Faith - Jan Vermeer

Allegory of Faith

Click on the image above to see a larger version

Unusually Vermeer has departed from his accepted style of work to paint this allegory of the Catholic faith. Faith herself is posed in a theatrical way with her hand to her breast and her foot on a globe. The globe being that the Catholic faith was the accepted faith of the civilised world at that time. There is a bitten apple on the floor representing sin, Adam and eve, there is a twisted and crushed serpent on the floor that represents the protestant heresy, as it was seen to be at the time. There is an open bible on the table and an ebony crucifix. The painting behind faith is also religious in context, being a depiction of the crucifixion.
The painting itself has many similar attributes that the Art of painting has, the tapestry is the same that hangs from the ceiling. The perspective is the same which allowed Vermeer to depict the rafters as well as the floor tiles. But this is fairly typical of Vermeer he often painted the floor and ceiling in his art.
If one looks closely it can be seen that the globe is the same one that was used in the Astronomer. And the ebony cross may have been Vermeer's own as there was an ebony cross in his belongings when he died.

this page © 2007 Rev Joy