Vermeer, Jan

by Gallery

Jan or Johannes Vermeer van Delft, b. October 1632, d. December 1675, a Dutch genre painter who lived and worked in Delft, created some of the most exquisite paintings in Western art.

His works are rare. Of the 35 or 36 paintings generally attributed to him, most portray figures in interiors. All his works are admired for the sensitivity with which he rendered effects of light and color and for the poetic quality of his images.

Little is known for certain about Vermeer's life and career. He was born in 1632, the son of a silk worker with a taste for buying and selling art. Vermeer himself was also active in the art trade. He lived and worked in Delft all his life. Not much is known about Vermeer's apprenticeship as an artist either. His teacher may have been Leonaert Bramer, a Delft artist who was a witness at Vermeer's marriage in 1653, or the painter Carel Fabritius of Delft. In 1653 he enrolled at the local artists guild. His earliest signed and dated painting, The Procuress (1656; Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden), is thematically related to a Dirck van Baburen painting that Vermeer owned and that appears in the background of two of his own paintings. Another possible influence was that of Hendrick Terbrugghen, whose style anticipated the light color tonalities of Vermeer's later works.

The Procuress


A Woman Asleep at a Table


Soldier and a Laughing Girl


The Kitchen Maid


View of Delft


Young Woman with a Water Pitcher


Girl with a Pearl Earring


The Guitar Player


The Lacemaker


The Love Letter





2011-10-19 13:04:50