Mimesis–the mimicry or imitation of the real world in art (a representation of our planet/nature)–was a topic that interested me. As a hobby, I like painting and drawing during my free time, and when I do, it is often of something that is in real life (as opposed to abstract art); hence there were some lessons that I took, and could closely relate to from this lecture. It was fascinating to hear about how mimesis was viewed prior to the Renaissance, and how it  developed/evolved during the Renaissance.

As I was listening to the lecture, I was reminded of a beautiful representation of the real world in a painting that I have seen before–a painting named “Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window” by Johannes Vermeer.


I remember my first impression when seeing this painting. I was awed by how this painting so beautifully and elegantly represented the real world. More than the technicality and accuracy of the painting, it is the warm and private atmosphere that the painting conveys that captures me. Perhaps it is the careful details, such as the subtle difference in shade of shadows that reflect the right amount of warm sunlight coming in through the window, the reflection of the woman’s face in the window, and the textures of the fabrics, such as the curtains and the clothes the woman is wearing that create an atmosphere that is so distinct to this picture.

I am reminded by looking at this picture that there is probably more than the technicality/mechanistic things, such as depth perception, angles and conveying three dimensionality that was mentioned in the lecture that conveys the beauty of a painting.