Jan Vermeer (1632-1675)

Jan Vermeer (1632-1675) painted portraits and domestic scenes with great precision.Although the Dutch painter attracted little attention in his lifetime, he is now regarded as an artistic genius by many. He left few surviving works, only 35, but what remains are engaging paintings which excellently depict common lives in the 17th century. His paintings are fully complete images which aredistinguished by a sense of geometrical order. They are often small in size, but still manage to capture a rare enigmatic intensity and the essence of their subject's personality. Their emotional effects are heightened by a rich use of light and colour.
It is important and interesting to view Vermeer's works in the geographical and cultural context in which they were created. He was a man who was born, married and buried within a short distance in the quiet town of Delft, Holland, and the area was a heavy influence on the atmosphere of his paintings and his choice of subject, particularly his city views, such as'View Of Delft'. Although influenced by the realism and attention-to-detail of Jan Van Eyck, he experimented in the different Dutch styles of the period – baroque in the vein of Rembrandt, and more generally, naturalism, the characteristic Dutch style of the time.
Although he was fluent in several styles, Vermeer's most popular and celebrated works today are his realistic domestic scenes. He subtly awarded the viewer an insight into simple sunlit interiors, which typicallu revolved around secluded women.. They are embellished with a sense of warmth and honesty, aided by his attention-to-detail and strong eye for colour. His portrayal of light and shadow adds to the realism of the scene, and their sheer simplicity coupled with Vermeer's quiet objectivity to the scene seems to award them an intensity and a hidden density of meaning.
His oil portraits explored the influence of natural light and shadow on t


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