Monday, October 10, 2011

Netherlands - Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer's Masterpieces : The Milkmaid (c. 1658), Street in Delft (c. 1657-8) and Girl With a Pearl Earring (c. 1665).

Sent by Bertie, a postcrosser from the Netherlands.

This is from Wikipedia : Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (Dutch pronunciation: [joˈhɑnəs jɑn ʋərˈmeːr]; baptized in Delft on 31 October 1632 as Joannis, and buried in the same city under the name Jan on 15 December 1675) was a Dutch 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 and 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.

Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes. As Koning points out: "Almost all his paintings are apparently set in two smallish rooms in his house in Delft; they show the same furniture and decorations in various arrangements and they often portray the same people, mostly women".

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-four paintings are universally 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.

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