ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 

 

 

  Johannes (Jan)  Vermeer 

Birth Year : 1632
Death Year : 1675
Country : 

Johannes Vermeer, the finest genre painter of the seventeenth century, was born and died in Delft. He was the son of a silk weaver and tavern owner who sold art as well as beer, a combination of wares not unusual for Holland. So very little is known about Vermeer that it is only presumed that he was at one time an apprentice to Carel Fabritius, Rembrandt's pupil. Vermeer married in 1653, had eight children, kept the tavern that he had inherited from his father, and painted in his spare time. He attracted very little, if any, attention during his lifetime, and it was not until 1860 that a Parisian art critic published a monograph on Vermeer and brought him to public notice and belated recognition. Thirty-three canvases have now been positively identified as Vermeer's work and it is upon these that his fame rests. Vermeer's cool, perfectly balanced paintings present a world so calm as to be almost breathless. Most of his works present one female figure quietly occupied at some womanly task: making lace, reading, pouring milk, or playing a lute. Occasionally two figures appear in this intimate world, and their relationship seems without speech as if all the world were under a spell of silence. Vermeer's composition seems extremely simple, but is in fact carefully and intricately laid out. In each work, a careful analysis will show a series of interlocking rectangles filling up the entire surface with volumes rounded by silvery light coming from the side. The world is turned by Vermeer into a geometric pattern, inhabited by people who seem objects is a still life. He employed a soft palette, with blues, golds, and soft reds predominating. 
 
 

 
Johannes (Jan) Vermeer
Milkmaid, The


Johannes (Jan) Vermeer
Lacemaker, The


Johannes (Jan) Vermeer
The Art of Painting


Johannes (Jan) Vermeer
Little Street


Johannes (Jan) Vermeer
Maiden with a Pearl Earring
 

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