Vermeer worked slowly and preferred colors that were costlier than others, such as cornflower blue.
The Allegory of Painting, 1666 by Jan Vermeer van Delft
The Obscure Dutch Master
Johannes Vermeer is baptized in Delft, The Netherlands
Thank goodness for recordkeeping. Much of what we know of the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer stems from official documents used to note births, deaths, marriages, and other life milestones. Artistically speaking, however, we learn much about the times in which Vermeer lived by examining his paintings.
Renowned for interior scenes of 17th century life in Holland, Vermeer’s principal subjects were usually women engaged in ordinary activities like pouring milk, reading a letter, or sewing. Captured through soft light, generally provided by an open, left window, Vermeer’s hallmarks were simple forms, muted colors, and restrained brushwork. Vermeer’s work is viewed today as one of the high points of the Golden Age of Dutch Painting.