Jan Vermeer


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Vermeer, Jan or Johannes

(vərmēr`, Dutch yän vərmār`, yōhän`əs), 1632–75, Dutch genre and landscape painter. He was born in Delft, where he spent his entire life. He was also known as Vermeer of Delft and as Jan or Johannes van der Meer. Carel FabritiusFabritius, Carel
, 1622–54, Dutch painter; pupil and outstanding follower of Rembrandt. His early death in the explosion of a powder magazine at Delft cut short a career of great promise.
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 is presumed to have influenced him greatly. In 1653 he was admitted to the painters' guild, of which he was twice made dean. He enjoyed only slight recognition during his short life, and his work was forgotten or confused with that of others during the following century. Today he is ranked among the greatest Dutch masters and considered one of the foremost of all colorists. His most frequent subjects were intimate interiors, often with the solitary figure of a woman. Although his paintings are modest in theme, they exhibit a profound serenity and a splendor of execution that are unsurpassed. No painter has depicted more exquisitely luminous blues and yellows, pearly highlights, and the subtle gradations of reflected light, all perfectly integrated within strictly ordered compositions.

Vermeer apparently produced only one or two pictures a year during his period of greatest activity. His career is a mystery to art historians because, although his work was of the finest quality, his output was too small to have been the sole support of his family of 11 children. Only about 35 paintings can be attributed to him with any certainty. Among them are The Milkmaid and The Letter (Rijksmus.); The Procuress (Dresden); The Art of Painting (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna); View of Delft (The Hague); Soldier and Laughing Girl (Frick Coll., New York City); Girl Asleep and Young Woman with a Water Jug (Metropolitan Mus.); Woman Weighing Gold and Young Girl with a Flute (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.); and The Concert (Gardner Mus., Boston). Forgeries of Vermeer's work have been frequent, Hans van Meegeren's being the most successful (see forgeryforgery,
in art, the false claim to authenticity for a work of art. The Nature of Forgery

Because the provenance of works of art is seldom clear and because their origin is often judged by means of subtle factors, art forgery has always been commonplace.
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, in art).

Bibliography

See biographies by F. W. Thienen (1949), A. Vries et al. (1988), and A. Bailey (2001); studies by P. L. Hale (repr. 1937), P. Descargues (tr. 1966), L. Goldschieder (rev. ed. 1967), L. Gowing (new ed. 1970), M. Pops (1984), J. M. Montias (1989), and A. K. Wheelock, Jr. (1995); catalog of exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., ed. by A. K. Wheelock, Jr. (1996). See also P. B. Coreman's study of Van Meegeren's forgeries (tr. 1949).

Vermeer, Jan

 

Baptized Oct. 31, 1632, in Delft; buried there Dec. 15, 1675. Dutch painter.

Vermeer worked in Delft and developed as an artist under the influence of C. Fabritius. Even in his early paintings (Diana With Nymphs, Mauritshuis, The Hague; and Christ With Martha and Mary, National Gallery, Edinburgh) he tried to combine an elevated emotionality of images with closeness to nature. His large-figured canvas At the Procuress (1656, Picture Gallery, Dresden) is marked by an unusually monumental portrayal of a vividly realistic scene, filled with youthful energy and fullblooded sensuality. In this painting the artist boldly combined elements of tonal coloring with resounding splashes of pure color.

Beginning in the second half of the 1650’s, Vermeer produced small paintings with one or several figures placed in the silvery light of the interior of city houses (Girl With a Letter, Picture Gallery, Dresden; Soldier and Laughing Girl, Frick Collection, New York; and Maid Servant Pouring Milk, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), giving less attention to the action and subject matter and more to the condition and general lyrical atmosphere of the scene and the variety and richness of the material world. The poetry of everyday home life and the unity of man with his environment are expressed here with extraordinary power of generalization and classical clarity and harmony. The sharp expressiveness of the spatial composition, vivid vibration of light and air, luminosity of saturated pure colors, rich play of the most subtle shades, and reflections and patches of light spiritualize the world of ordinary people and household articles, imparting internal significance to it. At the end of the 1650’s, Vermeer created two masterpieces of landscape painting: the inspired and extraordinarily subtly executed Alley (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) and the brilliantly fresh, beautiful View of Delft (Mauritshuis). In the 1660’s, Vermeer’s work became more contemplative and refined, and his painting became colder, enamel-like, done in generally pearly tones with vivid accents of blue and lemon yellow—for example, in Girl With a Pearl (Mauritshuis) and pictures of comfortable, richly furnished rooms where fashionably dressed women and gentlemen engage in small talk, play music, or examine jewels (A Goblet of Wine and Lady Trying on a Necklace, Staatliche Museen, Berlin-Dahlem).

The allegories, academic techniques, and variety of local colors in Vermeer’s later painting reflect the geneial decline of Dutch painting. However, he retained the content and charm of his images in the paintings of the 1660’s that are devoted to working people, artists, and scholars and convey the self-absorption of a person in moments of creativity (The Lacemaker, the Louvre, Paris; The Painter, Museum of Fine Arts, Vienna; and The Geographer, Städel Art Institute, Frankfurt am Main).

REFERENCES

Lazarev, V. N. Ian Vermeer Del’ftskii. Moscow, 1933.
[Rotenberg, E.] Ian Vermeer Del’ftskii: Al’bom reproduktsii. Moscow, 1964.
Vries, A. B. de. Jan Vermeer van Delft. Basel, 1945.
Swillens, P. T. A. Johannes Vermeer. Utrecht-Brussels, 1950.
Bloch, V. Tutta la pittura di Vermeer di Delft. Milan, 1954.
References in periodicals archive ?
GALLIN-COOL Johnny Murtagh and Jan Vermeer win at the Curragh a month ago
On Jan Vermeer, O'Brien added: "He ran well at Epsom, but with the benefit of hindsight we might have been better going to France for an easier mile and a quarter.
Picking between him and Jan Vermeer was a very tough decision.
Clearly, Jan Vermeer - named after a Dutch baroque artist from the 17th century - and Cape Blanco are talented horses, as their juvenile form and respective wins in the Gallinule Stakes and Dante Stakes last month confir ms.
Projected prices: Cape Blanco (5/2 ) , Monterosso (7/2) , Jan Vermeer (4 ) , Midas Touch (7 ), Coordinated Cut (12 ) , Chabal (16 ) , Puncher Clynch (22 ) , At First Sight (25 ) , Carraiglawn (25 ) , Dubawi Phantom (50 ), Bright Horizon (100 ).
At the moment it looks like he'll ride Jan Vermeer, but you never can be 100% sure what Ballydoyle are going to do.
Brave Totesport spokesman George Primarolo echoed those sentiments, adding: "After the plunge on Jan Vermeer a week ago, the public lumped on Rewilding as if defeat was out of the question.
Jockey Johnny Murtagh will be looking for his fourth win in the race and while the colt may lack the class that, it would appear, exudes from St Nicholas Abbey every morning on the gallops in Tipperary, Jan Vermeer has the best form in the book and deserves his place at the head of the market.
It will be interesting to see which horse Murtagh decides to ride with the bookmakers saying that all the 'right money' has been for Jan Vermeer after the colt's impressive win in a Group Three event at the Curragh last Sunday.
Mind you if Johnny deserts him for Midas Touch or Jan Vermeer, I will as well
RACING POST TROPHY, Paddy Power: 9-4 St NicholasAbbey, 4-1 Elusive Pimpernel, 5-1Al Zir, Coordinated Cut, 14-1 Joshua Tree, Marfach, Morana, Shakespearean, 16-1 Jan Vermeer, 18-1 Al Ghazal, Musaafer, 20-1 Dancing David, 22-1 Elusive Award, 25-1 Midas Touch, 33-1 Big Audio, Hanson'D, 40-1 Dubai Phantom, Sharaayeen, 50-1 bar.
His work is Influenced by classical and modern artists, including Jan Vermeer (1632-1675), Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Rene Magritte (1898-1967).