Function Order: Fi-Se-Ni-Te
Vermeer and Griet are alike in their quiet, emotional approach to life—even though he paints portraits for commissions, Vermeer prefers to work alone, keeps his wife out of his studio (since she threatened to harm one of his paintings, he has banished her), and thinks primarily of what he wants and needs for inspiration—when his patron requests a portrait with Griet, to spare her the indignity of sitting for hours with the lecherous old man, Vermeer agrees to a compromise—he will paint Griet alone. His wife would despise him spending time with her, because they understand each other so well and there’s an unspoken attraction at least on her part, so he keeps this from her. Vermeer also asks her to take on many additional chores as a means of sharing his art with her, including mixing his paints—without being all that considerate of her existing workload (he just tells her to find a way and make time). He sees in her someone who understands art, who ‘gets’ him in a way his wife does not, and prioritizes her in his attentions, without considering how upset it will make his wife. Vermeer has an eye for detail, prefers to work on one painting at a time, and is annoyed when others cannot see what he can see—that the world has many colors combined to make up single colors, that the clouds aren’t just white against a blue sky, that you paint a black gown first, and then overlay it with color to create the depth of its perspective and its shadows. He enjoys living a lavish lifestyle despite their relative poverty, and they eat their way through his income quickly, because he has so many mouths to feed and not much ambition—it has to be about the purity of the art, and he will take months to finish something according to his high standard. Vermeer is not much motivated by money, something his mother-in-law laments. His tendency to live in the moment means his wife is often soon pregnant… again, and putting a strain on their purse strings.
Enneagram: 9w8 sp/so
Vermeer wants everything to be silent and peaceful in his studio, where he works alone for hours. He takes comfort in doing small, menial tasks that give him pleasure, and can become lost in simply making his paints—alone or with Griet. He wants to minimize conflict as much as he can in his life, so he doesn’t unnecessarily cause his wife anxiety or frustration, but is also stubborn about holding firm to what he wants. He insists Griet pierce her ears and does it for her, having her wear the pearl earrings because he refuses to imagine them—but he also does not want his wife to find out, and tries to convince her not to look at the finished portrait, claiming it is finished and “soon will be gone,” out of fear of her emotional outburst. But, as the maid says, he also has a fierce temper once roused—Vermeer overturns everything in the house looking for his stolen wife’s comb and one he finds it in his daughter’s room, he has her punished. He yells at her out the window to stop making a racket when he’s trying to work. The maid also says there was a ‘violent row’ between him and his wife at an earlier time.