Johannes Vermeer

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Girl with a Pearl Earring, Vermeer's most famous painting.

Johannes Vermeer or Jan Vermeer (baptised 31 October 1632, died 15 December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter. He spent his life in the town of Delft. Vermeer came from a Protestant family but he married a Catholic, named Catherina Bolnes, in April 1653. They had eleven children.

He mainly painted people in daily life. He painted people in detail and used rich colors. He kept the backgrounds simple. This contrast makes the viewer focus on the main point. He used perspective technique to draw lines from one dot on the canvas. He used this technique on his 17 paintings. Those paintings have a little dot which may be used for perspective. Vermeer’s painted women often wear blue clothes. This color blue is made from a natural mineral called lapis lazuli. There is no self portrait of Jan Vermeer. His face maybe in some other paintings, especially “The Art of Painting” (De Schilderkunst) and “The Procuress” (De Koppelaarste), but there is no proof that the man is Vermeer.

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Further reading[change | change source]

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  • Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. (1981,1988). Jan Vermeer. New York: Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-1737-8
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