Who is Johannes (Jan) Vermeer? His Life, Paintings and Art

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Who is Johannes (Jan) Vermeer and what did he do? Information about Johannes (Jan) Vermeer life, biography, art, paintings and features of his paintings.

Jan Vermeer; (1632 – 1675); Dutch Golden Age artist Jan Vermeer is best known for Delft paintings such as ‘Love Letter’ and ‘Delft Landscape’ and ‘pearl paintings’ such as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’.

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Who Was Jan Vermeer?

Jan Vermeer joined the Delft painters’ guild in 1652. He served as president from 1662 to ’63 and again from 1669 to ’70. Among her early works is “The Girl Sleeping at the Table”. As his style matured, he painted “Little Street” and “Delft Landscape”. After 1660 Vermeer made “pearl paintings”, including “The Concert” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.

 Johannes (Jan) Vermeer

Early life

Born circa 31 October 1632 in Delft, Netherlands, Vermeer is one of the most respected Dutch artists of all time. His work has been a source of inspiration and admiration for centuries, but much of his life remains a mystery. His father, Reynier, came from an artisanal family in the town of Delft, and his mother, Digna, had a Flemish background.

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After being baptized at a local church, Vermeer seems to have disappeared for nearly 20 years. He probably had a Calvinist education. His father worked as a tavern keeper and an art dealer, and Vermeer took over both businesses upon his father’s death in 1652. The following year, Vermeer married Catherine Bolnes. Bolnes was Catholic and Vermeer became Catholic. The couple moved in with their mother and would eventually have 11 children together.

Basic works

In 1653 Vermeer was enrolled in the Delft Lodge as a master painter. There is no record of who he apprenticed with, or whether he studied at home or abroad. Vermeer certainly had a friendship, at least with the prominent Delft painter Leonard Bramer, who was one of his early supporters. Some experts also believe that Vermeer may have been influenced by Rembrandt’s work through one of Rembrandt’s students, Carel Fabritius.

Caravaggio’s influence is evident in his early works, including Vermeer’s “The Procuress” (1656). The painter also worked on mythology in “Diana and Her Friends” (1655-56) and religion in “Jesus in the house of Maria and Martha” (1655). At the end of the decade, Vermeer’s unique style began to emerge.

Many of Vermeer’s masterpieces focus on home scenes, including “The Milkmaid” (1657-58). This depiction of a woman in the middle of her work exhibits two characteristics: realistic figures, depictions of objects, and her fascination with light. Many of his works are of a brilliant quality, including the portrait “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (1665).

Vermeer had some success in Delft, selling his work to a small number of local collectors. He also served as president of the local art guild for a while. However, Vermeer was not well known outside of his community during his lifetime.

Last Years, Death and Legacy

Vermeer suffered financially in his last years, largely due to the Dutch economy being hit hard after the country was invaded by France in 1672. Vermeer was heavily indebted at his death; He died in Delft circa 16 December 1675.

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Since his death, Vermeer has become a world-renowned artist and his work has been exhibited in many important museums around the world.

One of Vermeer’s most famous works inspired Tracy Chevalier’s 1999 novel The Girl with a Pearl Earring and its 2003 film adaptation.

In 2018, the Royal Mauritshuis Picture Gallery in The Hague, Netherlands, was to undertake a two-week, non-invasive study on “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” Using new exploratory technologies, the museum aimed to answer age-old questions about the techniques and materials Vermeer used for painting.

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