GREAT ART OF THE WORLD:

JAN VERMEER

 

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Dear Friends,

It is for me a great pleasure to present the work of Jan (or Johannes) Vermeer, also called Vermeer Van Delft (1632 - 1675), the extraordinary Dutch painter of the Baroque Era whose use of masterly contrasts of light in his oil paintings, together with a rare, exquisite perfection in their composition and execution, would reach unheard-of heights in his time.

Very little is known about Vermeer's life - in fact, he only came out of anonymity with his marriage in 1653, a year he also was admitted into the Delft Gilt of Painters. However, it was not until 1656 that he achieved a certain renown with The Procuress, a work with which he seems to have found at last his own style.

It appears that Vermeer' life was hazardous, though at the same time he seems to have been appreciated by his co-nationals, as suggested by the fact that he was two times elected the Dean of the Gild of Painters in his city. Nevertheless, he is known to have died in almost absolute poverty.                

While I am truly confident that my choice of the featured masterpiece below, Girl with a Pearl Earring, will meet your approval, I do expect it to be especially welcomed mainly by those who watched the film of the same name, said to have fantastically recreated the 17th century Netherlands. However, I consider it to be a mere legend that it was the girl herself who asked Vermeer to wear her mistress' pearls (those of Vermeer's own wife!) for the portrait.

NOTE: To view a larger image of the painting, you may click HERE or directly on the picture below.

Other magnificent masterworks by Vermeer include (in chronological order) Officer with a Laughing Girl (c. 1657), The Milkmaid (c. 1658), View of Delft (1659-60), The Art of Painting (1665-07), Girl with a Red Hat (1668?), The Astronomer (c. 1668), The Geographer (c. 1668), The Lacemaker (1669-70), and The Guitar Player (1672).

As always, your good feedback will be treasured.

Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


GREAT MASTERS OF PAINTING


A Girl with a Pearl Earring (1)
by Jan (Johaness) Vermeer

born 1632, Delft (Netherlands),
died 1675, Delft


Profile
(2)

Relatively little is known about Vermeer's life. He seems to have been exclusively devoted to his art, living out his life in the city of Delft. The only sources of information are some registers, a few official documents and comments by other artists; it was for this reason that Thoré Bürger named him "The Sphinx of Delft".

Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (baptized in Delft on 31 October 1632 as Johannis, and buried in the same city under the name Jan on 16 December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter who specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colours, sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for cornflower blue and yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

Recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death; he was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbraken's major source book on 17th century Dutch painting (Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists), and was thus omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries. In the 19th century Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing sixty-six pictures to him, although only thirty-five paintings are firmly attributed to him today. Since that time Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

 

Technical data (3)

Girl with a pearl earring
Oil on canvas
c1665-c1667
Mauritshuis (The Hague, Netherlands)


 

 

(1) This image is a courtesy of Wikipedia.

(2) Source: Wikipedia.

(3) Source: Art Renewal Center.

 

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