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Johannes Vermeer 1632 — 1675
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Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch Baroque 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.
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.
We see a glorious partly cloudy sky during early morning. It has just cleared up after a sudden bout of rainfall. Under this expanse of clouds and blue sky the crisp outline of the town of Delft is visible. We are looking at the painting 'View of Delft', an astonishing and moving achievement by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The most significant effect is the lighting. Dark clouds overhanging the city cast the foreground in shadow. This not only calls attention to the vastness of the sky, but serves to draw the eye into the heart of the city, which is bathed in warm sunshine. Vermeer also used various textural effects to convey the physical presence of Delft. Anticipating Georges Braque by 250 years, he blended sand with the paint used to render the stone facades, bridge and roofs. In the tallest tower, Vermeer applied a thick impasto of yellow to accentuate the sunlit areas.