Johannes Vermeer and Delft - the greatest Dutch heritage

Johannes (Jan) Reijnierszoon Vermeer van Delft (1632—1675)

Delft in the Netherlands in October 1632. The autumn is in its full triumph of the warm autumn glistenings, colors and dyes, but with a premonition of the approaching winter. In the family of Reijnier Janszoon, a silk weaver and art dealer and his wife Digna Baltus, native of Antwerpen, was born a son Johannes (Jan) Reijnierszoon Vermeer. Now the world knows this son as Johannes Vermeer van Delft - one of the greatest Dutch painters of all time, undeniably belongs to the most prominent representatives of the Golden Age of Dutch art and culture. Recognized master of the genre and portrait painting, the virtuoso of light in whose paintings can be felt the sincere coziness and the quiet heat in the daily lives of the residents of the small city. The city, where everyone knew each and necessarily they drop off the hats in greeting when they met on the picturesque streets with numerous canals and bridges or on the large square in the center of Delft.

In such an atmosphere grows Johannes and a significant part of his life passes in Mechelen - a big inn near market square (Markt) in Delft. In 1652, after the death of his father, Johannes Vermeer inheriting Mechelen and the trade of paintings. In Delft passes all life of Johannes Vermeer. He never left Delft - he was born here, lived here, was buried here. He was a famous artist in the city. His fellow citizens have recognized it as a great master, but nobody outside of the city then did not knew the name of Johannes Vermeer. Today his paintings, though a few in number, are all over on the world in the world's largest galleries and museum, giving its beauty to anyone who can see them.

In 1653, Johannes Vermeer married Catharina Bolenes (Bolnes), and they have 14 children. In Delft, there is one street address Oude Langendijk, very close to the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) where was the house in which lived Johannes Vermeer with his wife and their great family. The house has not been preserved, now there is the church Maria van Jessekerk, but at this place has a commemorative plaque indicating that at this address was the house of Vermeer's family. The text on the plaque says in several languages: The home of Delft artist Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) once stood on this corner. He lived here in Papenhoek (the Catholic quarter) with his wife, Catharina Bolnes. In his first-floor studio on the street side of the building, Vermeer painted his famous cityscape and interior filled with magical light. Vermeer's house and its complete interior were reconstructed on the Internet in 2002. You can't not get excited when you stand in front of the magnificent church, to whose place was before more than 350 years the home of Johannes Vermeer. Even, for a moment you can feel got into the 17th century and even you can imagine how on this little junction between two charming small streets every day has been crossed by Johannes Vermeer…

Recently was made 3D reconstruction of the house of Johannes Vermeer, which provokes the imagination to imagine the atmosphere in the large kitchen of the house, the windows in the studio overlooking the street, through which can be seen passing neighbors on their walk to the market. For many years, every morning Johannes Vermeer has walked not great a distance (around 100 m), almost in a straight line, between the former family house, crossing Markt square, just in front of the New Church, then continuing along a small street to the building on street Voldersgracht 21, where was the Saint Lukas Gilde, a trade association of artists, of which Johannes Vermeer was became a member in 1653. In 1662, Vermeer was elected head of the Guild of artists and was re-elected several times, indicating that he has been proven master in his circles, an artist who was respected and revered by his fellow citizens. This building, where Vermeer was Dean of the painters for many years and train the novice artists in the art of recreating the light and colors, there is today. It now houses the Vermeer Centrum in Delft and has become a place of worship and homage to this great citizen of Delft. The Vermeer Centrum Delft is dedicated to the life and works of Vermeer, providing information to the ecstatic visitors and tourists who want to touch to the world and the genius of Vermeer.

Over time, Vermeer was recognised as an artist and became one of the richest citizens of Delft, whose patron and client was the local art dealer Pieter van Reuven. Vermeer does not create many paintings, only about 35 paintings, mostly an interior scenes of everyday life and portraits, with the exception of two cityscapes recognized as timeless masterpieces and one of the most beautiful paintings in the world - View of Delft and View of Houses in Delft (known as Little Street). Only seven of his works remain in the Netherlands, in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the rest are in all over the world. In the collection of Mauritshuis is also and other a famous picture of Vermeer - Girl with a Pearl Earring.

In the last years of his life, when in 1672 the Netherlands was hit by the economic crisis after the war with France, Vermeer and his family experienced hard times of deprivations and financial difficulties.

On December 16, 1675 died Johannes Vermeer. He was buried in the family tomb in the oldest church (Oude Kerk) of Delft on street Heilige Geestkerkhof 25, built around 1200, later expanded several times over the centuries. In the imposing and majestic Old Church of Delft, on the place where buried Vermeer, there is nearly three and a half centuries a modest plaque with the name of a great artist - Johannes Vermeer van Delft! Pride for the Netherlands and for the world!

Related images

View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer, Mauritshuis, The Hague

Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, Mauritshuis, The Hague

The Love Letter by Johannes Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

View of Houses in Delft (Known as The little Street) by Johannes Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

View of Houses in Delft (Known as The little Street) by Johannes Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (de

St. Lucas Gilde (Vermeer Centrum), Delft

St. Lucas Gilde (Vermeer Centrum), Delft

Diana and her Nymphs by Johannes Vermeer, Mauritshuis, The Hague

Woman in Blue reading a Letter by Johannes Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

St. Lucas Gilde (Vermeer Centrum), Delft

St. Lucas Gilde (Vermeer Centrum), Delft

Vermeer Centrum Delft (interior)

Vermeer Centrum Delft (interior)

Vermeer Centrum Delft (interior)

Vermeer Centrum Delft (interior)

Vermeer Centrum Delft (interior)

Vermeer Centrum Delft (interior)

A part of the church Maria van Jessekerk on the place of the former house of Vermeer

A part of the church Maria van Jessekerk on the place of the former house of Vermeer

Part of the church Maria van Jessekerk on the place of the former house of Vermeer

The memorial plaquette where was the home of Vermeer

Part of the church Maria van Jessekerk on the place of the former house of Vermeer

The memorial plaque on the tomb of Johannes Vermeer in the Old Church (Oude Kerk) of Delft

Related links

http://www.vermeerdelft.nl/

http://www.vermeer-foundation.org/

http://www.delft.nl/delften/Tourists/Discover_Delft/To_see/Vermeer/Vermeer_Centrum_Delft

http://www.essentialvermeer.com/maps/delft/delft_in_vermeer's_time.html

http://www.johannesvermeer.info/verm/house/framesetENG.html