Vermeer: Whine, wiener and wrong

"Girl With a Glass of Wine" by Vermeer. Image courtesy of Essential Vermeer.

By Laura Grimes

“Am I sleepy yet? Not a chance. Sleep is for sissies.”

The Pantsless Brother continues his Sleep-Is-Not-an-Option Tour in chasing Vermeer paintings all over Europe. If you missed my first gobsmacked installment, check it out here. (That’s not hyperbole talkin’.)

He’s on a mission to see all 34 (some say 36) Vermeers that can be viewed. Before his trip, he had (only) 12 left on his list. He had nailed down a relentless schedule to see 16 Vermeers in 9 cities in 9 days. (I can’t believe I just typed that, either.) His full tour is 10 cities in two weeks.

However, less than two weeks before he was to leave, he discovered, much to his horror, that the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, had just loaned out The Geographer to museums in Japan.

Other than that huge setback, how has everything else been going? Here’s one of his missives:

I don’t speak any German, but when there is a message featuring today’s date, the word “die,” and an exclamation point at the end that is plastered in the middle of the museum’s entrance sign, even I can figure out what it means. So I take a morning train from Berlin to Braunschweig for the sole purpose of seeing Vermeer’s “The Girl With a Wine Glass” only to discover that the museum is closed for the day because some pseudo-medieval movie is being filmed on site. How lame is that? Those damn ubersonsabitches. But not all is lost. I stop at the nearby Curry House cafe and try their featured Berliner Curry-Wurst. What a funny play on words. The dish turns out to be a bare Costco-dog swimming in catsup with some curry powder sprinkled on top. For some reason German cuisine has not quite caught up with German engineering. Of yeah, I also find some socks on sale for one euro at Woolworth before catching the afternoon train back to Berlin. What a day.

Museum sign

The Pantsless Brother tells me JoJo would like this.

Worst of the wurst.


Socks on sale!

That is the most disgusting wiener I have ever seen.

But, oh no! Not only do we have to go to Frankfurt now to finish his quest, we have to go to Braunschweig, too. (Did you know there was a real place called Braunschweig? There’s a Bologna, a Braunschweig … I wonder if there’s a place called Headcheese.)

So, hey, what about those paintings? More from The PB:

The Vermeers have been exquisite. Especially stunning have been “View of Delft,” “Girl With a Pearl Earring” (which I used to think was overhyped, but not anymore), and the eye-popping “The Glass of Wine.” It makes me wonder what Vermeer would have attained if he hadn’t died at age 43.

To see any of these works of art, check out the Essential Vermeer.


PAINTING AT TOP: “The Girl With a Wineglass” by Vermeer, circa 1659-1660, oil on canvas, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig (Brunswick). Image courtesy of Essential Vermeer.