Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) is one of the most important artists of The Netherlands, an internationally acclaimed painter of great fame.
Vermeer often painted intimate, interior genre scenes, with people involved in daily activities, that seemed to be ‘caught by surprise’ by the painter. His most famous paintings include The Milkmaid, The Love letter and Girl with a Pearl Earring. The Astronomer and The Geographer are a bit different; in these paintings professions are depicted. The paintings of Vermeer are special because of the very subtle use of colour and the perfect arrangement of the scene. Very often we see a window on the left letting in daylight. There are only two major works by Vermeer that are not interior scenes, View on Delft and The Little Street.
Several scientists maintain that Johannes Vermeer used a camera obscura when preparing the composition for his paintings. They argue it can be derived from the perfect perspective and the out of focus elements that could only have been a result of using a lens. Furthermore they point out there are no guiding lines under the paint surface to be found.
Johannes Vermeer made about 45 paintings, 34 of which still survive. Works by Vermeer can be admired in museums worldwide including The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The National Gallery in Washington.
Vermeers precise birth date is unknown. We do know he was baptised on the 31st of October 1632, in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. That is why the yearly ceremony of the Johannes Vermeer Award shall take place on the 30th or 31st of October.