Johannes Vermeer

Johannes VermeerJohanns Vermeer was a noted Dutch painter who specialized in the Dutch Baroque style. He was famous for his art works of domestic interior scenes depicting ordinary life.

A painter with a relatively few artworks credited to him, he was for some time forgotten for nearly 200 year. It was an 1866 art critic who revived his reputation as an art master by publishing an essay that attributed 66 paintings to him. And through that, he was acknowledged as one of the greatest painters ever to come out of the Dutch Golden Age in art.

Early Life

Little has been known of Johannes Vermeer’s life. It was believed that Vermeer was born in 1632 in the city of Delft in the Netherlands. His father, Reynier Jansz was a lower middle class silk worker.

His mother, Digna Baltens was from Antwerp. Vermeer’s father later on bought and ran a large inn and sold paintings. When his father died in 1652, Vermeer took his father’s place in selling paintings.

Vermeer’s education in the arts has not been ascertained. But it was believed that he was apprenticed as a painter. He probably studied painting in Delft or possibly taught himself how to paint with guidance from his fathers connections with other painters as an art merchant.

It was also known that Vermeer became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke, which was an association of painters. He later on became the head of the guild, according to guild records, hinting that he became an established craftsman respected by his peers.

Although respected as an artist in his hometown in Delft, Vermeer was a relative unknown outside of it. Painting only a handful of artworks, with much of it bought by a local art patron may have contributed to limiting his talents outside of the city. Vermeer also led a very short life, having died sometime in 1675, at the age of 43.

Art Technique

Vermeer’s painting technique was characterized by transparent colors produced by applying paint to the canvas in loose layers. He was also known as one of the first early painters who made use of the expensive pigment called lapiz lazuli.

He used themes that are taken from mostly domestic scenes. Most of his works are largely portraits, with two known cityscapes attributed to his name. His subjects are mostly people from the 17th Century Dutch society, ranging from milkmaids going to work to rich noblemen in their homes.

Image Source: Wikipedia

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