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Unlike those portrayed in Vermeer's paintings, very few renderings of [French: literally: I don't know what] is an intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive, which is, however, ultimately unsayable.
It is sometimes associated with other historical terms such as argued that in the early modern period it served to address problems of knowledge in natural philosophy, the passions, and culture and that major figures of the period such as Montaigne, Shakespeare, Descartes, Corneille, and Pascal alongside some of their lesser-known contemporaries can be a tied to it.
However, Rembrandt's pupil Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627–1678) explained that the texture of the paint on the canvas could help strengthen or weaken the illusion of three-dimensionality.
Van Hoogstraten, made this point about ] makes them withdraw, and I therefore desire that which is to appear in the foreground, be painted roughly and briskly, and that which is to recede be painted the more neatly and purely the further back it lies.
Neither one color nor another will make your work seem to advance or recede, but the perceptibility or imperceptibility [ "Interestingly Van, Hoogstraten did not apply this proposition, which he advances with great emphasis, to his own paintings in the period which were smoothly executed, in both foreground and background."by Barry Tsirelson: The so-called "Kunstkamer" painting can be cautiously described as depictions of other paintings, collections of antiquities, sculptures, curiosities and other works of art, or paintings within a single painting.
The folds of this jacket are handled so differently from picture to picture that it appears to be made of various kinds of fabric, although a side-by-side comparison of the shapes and the distribution of the spots on the fur trim of three paintings () assures us that it is one and the same article.
The fact that the painter would have so willfully distorted the garment's folds but so carefully attended to the positions and shapes of the spots, which perhaps even Vermeer's wife would never have noticed, is somewhat perplexing. Gabriel Metsu (1629–1667) painted them many times, sometimes green or blue, occasionally yellow, but most often red.