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Meet the Masters

Grade Three

ARTIST: PRINT:

VERMEER, JOHANNES (VER-meer, Yo-hahn) (1632-1675)

LITTLE STREET RIJKSMUSEUM AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND

Dutch and Flemish Masters Date: circa - 1659-1660 Size: 21 3/8” x 17 1/4”

Medium: Canvas

ARTIST - Johannes Vermeer was born in Delft, Holland where his father was an art dealer and innkeeper. An Italian painter, Caravaggio, who used light and shade in paintings, influenced him. When Vermeer was 21, he was received as a master painter in the guild of St. Luke. Vermeer and his fellow artists painted men, women and children engaged in household tasks or some little recreation. They reflect the values and activities of the simple domestic life style. Vermeer was married at the age of 20 and was the father of 8 children. He died at 43, leaving behind only 39 or 40 canvases that are known to be genuine Vermeers. These paintings represent Dutch genre (daily life) painting at its climax.

PRINT - Vermeer's paintings show us a shining world of calmness and order. Common items stand out in fresh beauty. Simple human scenes have a quiet charm in the homes of the Holland of his day. In Little Street, Vermeer paints such a scene. Here is a typical home scene of women going about their daily tasks. As one woman sits in her doorway serving, two others are in the front appearing to wash the walkway. A fourth woman is seen in the alley attending to another housekeeping task. The scene has a quiet restfulness to it.

Vermeer uses perspective to draw us into the picture. The warm, calm colors he used to paint the building and ground add to the tranquil and calm feeling. He has preserved for us a moment in time during the daily life of the Dutch people.

PORTFOLIO C PAIRED WITH:

van GOGH STARRY NIGHT

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