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Vermeer Fast Facts

On a Personal Note
Johannes Vermeer (born 1632, died 1675) lived all his life in the city of Delft in the Netherlands.

Johannes was known as Jan for short.

Vermeer had 11 children.

When Vermeer died, he left his family in great debt.

As an Artist
Vermeer is often praised for his careful compositions, transparent colors, and brilliant use of light.

His art was not well-known outside of Delft during his lifetime.

Most of Vermeer’s paintings have the same setting: his parents’ home, which he inherited.

In the 1660s, Vermeer painted pearls in two layers: first, he painted them in gray, and then he added a thick brushstroke on top to make them look like they were shining in the light.

It’s believed that Vermeer experimented with a camera obscura, a simple photo recording device, to help him study composition and light.

By passing off his forgeries as real Vermeer works, Han Van Meegeren, an infamous Vermeer forger, made it even more difficult to solve the mysteries of Vermeer’s paintings.

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