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From the late-nineteenth century onwards visual abstract or formal qualities were increasingly emphasized, analyzed and finally isolated by painters.
Visual abstraction is not merely an aesthetic quest; it is a biological necessity.
Some of these terms, signaled by an icon of the Vermeer's monogram and signature, are also discussed as they relate to specifically Vermeer's art.
The ability of the human mind to abstract may also be linked to the limitations of its memory system.
Throughout the twentieth-century, the term "abstraction" was regularly summoned to describe certain aspects of Vermeer's style.
Volumes are reduced to their simplest geometric components. For example, the block-like gown of the seated mistress of has been transformed into nothing less than a geometrical fortress, which may have entailed considerable manipulation given that such carpets were probably not stiff enough to produce such simple, structural folds by themselves.
Props and figures are often set perpendicular or at 45 degrees to the picture plane.