Interesting Facts about Johannes Vermeer

Search engine giant Google celebrates Johannes Vermeer with Google Doodle on November 12, 2021. A Dutch painter and seminal Baroque artist who is generally respected among the best Dutch painters ever. On this day in 1995, an eponymous exhibition opened at Washington D.C.s National Gallery of Art, including 21 of his 35 existing works.

celebrating johannes vermeer

Here is a look at the life and work of Johannes Vermeer.


Birth name: Johannes Vermeer
Birthdate: 31 October 1632
Birthplace: Delft, Holland, Dutch Republic
Died on: December 1675 (aged 42–43)
Death place: Delft, Holland, Dutch Republic
Father name: Reynier Janszoon Vermeer
Mother name: Digna Baltens
Spouse(s): Catharina Bolnes
Nationality: Dutch
Sun sign: Libra
Famous as: Painter

25 Interesting Facts about Johannes Vermeer

  1. Johannes Vermeer, otherwise called Jan, was born in 1632, to Reijnier Janszoon and his wife Digna Baltus, in Delft, Dutch Republic. He was baptized as a Reformed Christian on October 31 of that same year. Jan additionally had a sister, Geertruy, who was just about twelve years older.
  2. Reijnier was at first utilized as a Sericulturist, however, he later started running a hotel, and selling paintings. After his death, it was Jan who took over his father’s work as an art seller. During this time, the young fellow fostered a strong passion for painting, trying to seek after it as his career.
  3. It is unclear with regards to who trained Johannes Vermeer as an artist; while some figure it might have been Carel Fabritius, others trust it to be Abraham Bloemaert. Notwithstanding, the most generally acknowledged opinion is that this Dutch artist, whose works are like the style adopted by the painter Caravaggio, encouraged himself to paint.
  4. On December 29, 1653, Johannes Vermeer joined a union of painters known as the ‘Guild of Saint Luke’, even though he couldn’t afford the enrolment fee. The ‘Delft Thunderclap’ blast which occurred the next year dove the city into financial emergency and affliction.
  5. It was during this time, despite the disturbance, that Jan had the option to produce probably the best masterpieces. In 1656, the 24-year-old budding artist painted ‘The Procuress’ on canvas, using oil, which portrays a scene in a brothel.
  6. In 1657, it was art dealer, Pieter van Ruijven, who went to Johannes Vermeer‘ assistance, disparaging the latter’s paintings. Jan’s counterparts during this period, which is likewise called the ‘Golden Age’, were Gerard Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, and Nicolaes Maes.
  7. In 1657-58, the famous artist created two renowned paintings, ‘The Little Street’, and ‘The Milkmaid’. The first is a small oil painting that is shown presently at the ‘Rijksmuseum’, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. ‘The Milkmaid’ portraying a maidservant, is additionally exhibited in a similar museum and is considered as one of the finest pieces of art.
  8. During 1659-61, this refined artist finished the paintings, ‘The Girl with the Wine Glass’, and ‘View of Delft’. ‘The Girl with the Wine Glass’ is presently shown at the ‘Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum’, in Germany, while ‘View o Delft’ is displayed at The Hague’s ‘Mauritshuis’ art gallery.
  9. From 1662-71, Jan was delegated as the Chair of the association ‘Guild of Saint Luke’, on four events, which demonstrated his reputation as an artist.
  10. During this time, he worked at a sluggish yet steady pace, guaranteeing that the little work that he produced turned out to be awesome. Around 1665, he completed the painting, ‘The Music Lesson’, which is likewise known by the name, ‘A Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman’.
  11. In 1665, Johannes Vermeer likewise produced his masterpiece, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, which has been named a picture done in ‘Baroque’ style, otherwise called a ‘tronie’.
  12. From 1666-69, Johannes Vermeer painted the ‘Art of Painting’, ‘The Astronomer’, and ‘The Geographer’. Of these, ‘The Astronomer’ and ‘The Geographer’ are two of the only three paintings that have been signed by this incredible artist. ‘Art of Painting’ is considered one of the most spectacular and complex illusionistic works produced by Vermeer.
  13. During 1670-72, Johannes Vermeer painted another masterpiece, ‘The Allegory of Faith’, a work of art that wanders from the usual subjects of his paintings. He additionally painted ‘The Love Letter’, which is presently housed in Amsterdam’s ‘Rijksmuseum’, and Lady Seated at a Virginal, exhibited at Londons National Gallery.
  14. Because of attacks by the French and English armies, the Netherlands experienced major economic and political cataclysm, making it hard for the Dutch artists to sell their paintings. Indeed, even Vermeer was as of now not ready to sell his art and was confronted with dire poverty.
  15. One of the best works ever produced by this recognized artist is viewed as his ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. The oil painting on canvas was signed by the artist as ‘IVMeer’ and is presently housed in the ‘Mauritshuis’ museum in The Hague, Netherlands.
  16. In 1653, Johannes Vermeer changed over into a Catholic and got married to Catharina Bolenes, daughter of the wealthy Maria Thins. The couple lived at one of Maria Thin’s properties almost a church in Oude Langendijk. Vermeer and his wife Catharina were honored with fifteen children, lamentably four of them died in their infancy.
  17. In December 1675, this extraordinary artist died in the wake of being sick for a brief period. As per letters composed by his wife, the wars pursued by the country had hampered his career, and this had caused depression. At the time of his death, Johannes had left behind his wife with tremendous financial debts to clear.
  18. Johannes Vermeer was interred at the ‘Oude Kerk’ church in Delft, on December 15, 1675. Some of his debts were cleared off by selling his paintings at a later date.
  19. A few later artists, similar to Dutch Simon Duiker, American Thomas Wilmer Dewig, and Danish Wilhelm Hammershoi, copied Jan’s style of painting. Spanish legend Salvador Dali honored Johannes in his surrealistic painting, ‘The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used as a Table’.
  20. The 1953 novel, ‘After the Funeral’, composed by crime fiction writer, Agatha Christie, refers to a painting by the popular Dutch artist.
  21. Different books that notice his works include Susan Vreeland’s ‘Girl in Hyacinth Blue’, Blue Balliett’s ‘Chasing Vermeer’, and J.P. Smith’s ‘The Discovery of Light’.
  22. Movies that refer to either the painter or his art incorporate Peter Webber’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, Peter Greenaway’s ‘A Zed & Two Noughts’, and John Jost’s ‘All the Vermeers in New York’.
  23. Indeed, even musicians like Louis Andriessen, Jonathan Richman, Bob Walkenhorst, and David Olney, have honored this legendary painter, in their compositions.
  24. To mark the 26th anniversary of the opening of an exhibition at Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art including his work, Google honored Johannes Vermeer with a Google Doodle on 12 November 2021.
  25. Johannes Vermeer‘s reputation and works have been included in both literature and films. Tracy Chevalier’s novel Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999), and the 2003 film of a similar name, present a fictional account of Vermeer’s formation of the well-known painting and his relationship with the similarly fictional model.
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