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Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer Johannes or Jan Vermeer (October 31, 1632 - December 15, 1675) was a famous Dutch Baroque painter. His specialty was creating exquisite, household interior scenes of everyday normal life. Vermeer was a considerably successful small-town genre painter during his lifetime. He was never really wealthy and left his family in debt after he passed away. This can possibly be due to the rather small number of paintings he produced.

The Art of Painting The Milkmaid View of Delft Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid Mistress and Maid Woman with a Lute near a Window Girl with a Pearl Earring Lady Seated at a Virginal   view gallery »

Vermeer is believed to have been exclusively committed to his art in the city of Delft. Despite being baptized in a Protestant church, Vermeer married a Catholic girl named Catherina Bolenes. Her mother was very wealthy and persuaded Vermeer to convert to Catholicism before being married in 1653. Scholars highly doubt that Vermeer truly became Catholic, yet, one of his paintings entitled `The Allegory of Catholic Faith` portrays belief in the Eucharist. This painting was most likely made for a hidden church or a member of the Catholic faith.
Vermeer and his wife eventually moved in with Catherina`s mother in her quite large home at Oude Langendijk. Vermeer lived in this house for the remainder of his life. He created his paintings on the second floor in the front room. He and his wife had fourteen children.
It is unclear where and with whom Vermeer was apprenticed. It is highly possible that he was self taught or received information from a connection through his father. In 1653 Vermeer became an official member of a trade association for painters called the Guild of Saint Luke. Although Vermeer did not pay the usual fees for admission, it was clear that he was accepted among his peers and regarded as an established artist by being elected as head of the Guild in 1662 and then again in 1663, 1670, and 1671. Vermeer was a very slow worker. He created about Three paintings a year.
Vermeer used a technique called pointille, where he created transparent colors by putting the paint on his canvas in loose, gritty layers. His methods of preparation for his work are unknown. Some believe he was dependent upon a camera obscura to attain exact positioning in his compositions along with certain perspective and lighting effects.
No other 17th century artist so early in their career employed, in such an extravagant way, the highly expensive pigment of natural ultramarine. He continued to do so even after his financial breakdown in 1672. This can be proof that Vermeer was supplied by a collector with any materials he needed.

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  » Jan 19, 2019  


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