The world famous painter Johannes Vermeer lived from 1632 to 1675. His father, Reynier van der Meer, also known as Reynier Vos, was originally a silk weaver and art trader. Later he combined these professions with being an inn-keeper. He was married to Digna Baltens, who came from Antwerp.
In 1641 Reynier Vos bought the house 'Mechelen' on the Markt. This house was originally an inn. He had good connections with talented painters such as Cornelis Saftleven and Egbert van der Poel. After his death in 1652 Johannes Vermeer inherited his father’s trade.
It is not known who was Johannes Vermeer’s mentor. In general it is presumed that he studied in Delft. As possible mentors the following persons are considered: Leonaert Bramer (1596 – 1674), a person well-known to his father and Christiaen van Couwenbergh. Furthermore he could have been influenced by Carel Fabritius, who died on 12 October 1654 because of the explosion of the gunpowder storage in Delft.
St. Lucas guild
On 29 December 1653 Johannes Vermeer was a member of the St. Lucas guild; this was an association for painters and glass makers. St. Lucas was the patron saint of the painters. Vermeer was chosen as head of the guild in 1662, as well as in 1663, 1670 and 1671.
Johannes Vermeer’s Works
It is presumed Johannes Vermeer made about fifty paintings, of which 37 have been preserved. One of these is doubtful. This means he painted two or three canvases a year, which wasn’t so many.
Up to this day his works still inspire artists, scientists and millions of art lovers. His View of Delft is counted as one of the most beautiful and impressive city views of the 17th century. The absolute masterpiece of the famous Dutch light. A view of the world, where as once mentioned, only the sound is missing.
His Girl with the Pearl Earring is also known as ‘the Mona Lisa of the North'. It was the inspiration for Tracy Chevalier’s novel of the same name, which was made into a film in 2004. Vermeer’s Little Street will remain just as fascinating and unparalleled in all its seeming simplicity.
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|Baptised||31 October 1632 in the Nieuwe Kerk|
|Married||20 April 1653 to Catharina Bolnes in a clandestine church in Schipluiden|
|Parents||Reynier Janszoon (inn-keeper, silk weaver and art trader) and Digna Baltens|
|Children||15 children, of whom 11 still lived when he died|
|Guild||in 1653 registered as ‘master’ in the St. Lucas guild|
|Buried||15 December 1675 in the Oude Kerk|
Overview of paintings
The Hague, Mauritshuis
Berlin, Gemäldegalerie SMPK
Braunsweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum
Dresden, Staatliche Gemäldegalerie
Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Museum
London, Buckingham Palace
London, National Gallery
London, Kenwood House
Edinburgh, National Gallery
Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland
Vienna, Kunsthistorisch Museum
Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, Frick Collection
New York, privé collectie
Washington, National Gallery of Art
Tokyo, National Museum of Western Art