Talk:Johannes Vermeer

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Old conversation[edit]

I made a redirect here from Jan Vermeer (though nothing links to it), but shouldn't the article be at Jan Vermeer instead? They get about an equal number of Google hits (38 800 for Johannes, 34 000 for Jan), but my first instinct when I was looking for him here today was to search for Jan. Adam Bishop 04:41, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I've always heard him referred to as Johannes. -- Viajero 10:59, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The museums here could use links, many have articles. -- Jmabel 00:25, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

I have done a bit of this Notjim 13:36, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

TO DO: mention the role Vermeer played in Proust at a time before he had reached his current popularity. Notjim 13:36, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I added a link under influences Notjim 14:02, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Also, the Italian version of this is fantastic, it has an entry for every one of the pictures, anyone fancy translating the Italian? Notjim 13:44, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Finally, I added the new one: A Young Woman seated at the Virginals, maybe someone would like to *comment on this attributation in the main text, I amn't really qualified, my understand is just that it is widely accepted. Notjim 14:02, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

List of Works[edit]

As I understand it there are 34 surviving works generally attributed to Vermeer (see for example [1]). However, we currently have a list of 36 works. Can anyone spot the repetitions or falsely attributed works? -- Solipsist 19:43, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well one of the extra ones was only attributed recently: Young Girl at her Viringals. Notjim 22:25, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
There is great disagreement among art historians as to whether "Young Girl at the Virginals," recently purchased by Steve Wynn for display in his Las Vegas art gallery, truly was painted by Vermeer. It is not mentioned in the historical record. Its provenance is questionable. Unlike most Vermeer paintings, it is unsigned. All the art history experts who "authenticated" the painting were employed by Sotheby's, the auction house which was selling the painting (and would gain a siginificant commission in its sale). Because of this, its sale price was much lower than otherwise would be expected for a Vermeer, which are - as this article points out - extremely rare. The value of truly authenticated vermeers has been estimated to exceed $200 million in many instances. Accordingly, because many art historians dispute "Young Girl at the Virginals" being ascribed to Johannes Veermeer, this painting should be included in the list of disputed works, not the list of actual works. 17:29, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I am appalled by the entirely unjustified accusation that the above mentioned art historians and experts should have been employed by Sotheby’s while examining the "Young Girl at the Virginals". This is simply NOT the case. I was one of the persons and I acted entirely independent and never received any compensation in any way for the many hours of research put into the project. This was also the case with the other experts. I insist that the writer of the above publicly withdraw his accusation. Or come forward so that we can have a proper confrontation – but indeed in another forum. Jwacph (talk) 18:05, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Yo, what about "Girl in a red hat?" That ones not in there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The page says 35, but only lists 34. The list does not include A YOUNG WOMAN SEATED AT THE VIRGINALS or GIRL WITH A FLUTE. I'm not trying to start an argument about which ones to include. I'm just pointing out an inconsistency. HelmerAslaksen (talk) 15:14, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Scholars all pretty much agree on 34 paintings (though of these Girl in a Red Hat has been questioned fairly often), with a further 3 possibles: Saint Praxedis, the smaller Young Woman at the Virginals, and Girl with a Flute. I've amended the article to reflect this.Jimi 66 (talk) 20:28, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Painting from a window[edit]

The section Johannes_Vermeer#Themes currently starts: Vermeer painted mostly in-house scenes, and even his two known landscapes are framed with a window.

This is incorrect - neither View of Delft nor the little Street Scene have any indication of being framed with a window. - User: 21:06, 9 August 2005 [comment moved from main page -- Solipsist 17:22, 12 August 2005 (UTC) ]

Incorrect attribution?[edit]

I have never before seen 'Portrait of a Woman' (Budapest), illustrated in this article, credited to Vermeer. Does anyone have credible evidence for this attribution? JNW 14:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Not finding any source for this attribution, I have removed the image. If anyone can cite scholarly attribution, please re-install the picture. JNW 15:19, 20 January 2007 (UTC)


After doing some copy editing of the section on lapis lazuli, I researched the source of the information--turns out that it was a direct quote from an interview on another web site. The interview was with the conservator for the The Hague, who had actually restored Girl with a Pearl Earring; moreover, it appears that it might have been he who was contributing his own quote. Obviously, this is an expert's contribution. I am glad that the conservator's thoughts have been added to the article, and I hope my that edits have benefited in terms of the spoken interview 'reading' more properly, without compromising the fine content. JNW 03:36, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the corrections. Appreciated! Jwacph (talk) 18:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Hans van Meegeren[edit]

I have reverted the following from the article, finding it unnecessarily detailed and repetitious of the material already presented. JNW 21:32, 8 July 2007 (UTC)


Hans van Meegeren was jailed for selling Dutch National Artworks to the Germans when they occupied the Netherlands. In jail he convinced the supervisor that they were forgeries as he had maintained all along and received the materials he asked for to prove that he could do it. He made a forged copy which was judged by world experts on the paintings of Vermeer. They declared the forgery was a real Vermeer. Van Meegeren was then charged with dealing wirh the enemy but was soon released.


The title "Johannes Vermeer" is wrong. The Vermeer expert Wheelock publishs his works by using "Jan Vermeer" and in the German literture I used to write the excellent article in the German Wikipedia only the name "Jan Vermeer" is mentioned. So I think the article should be moved to "Jan Vermeer". Julius1990 (talk) 23:40, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Is there really nobody who wants to comment on this question? Julius1990 (talk) 19:25, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

The Rijksmuseum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection, The Mauritshuis and the National Galleries of Scotland all use "Johannes". Liedtke's 2001 catalogue from the Met exhibition (ISBN 0300088485) uses Johannes, as do Krueger (van Meegeren biographer) and Gaskell & Jonker (editors of "Vermeer Studies" from the National Gallery Washington). That's close enough to a consensus for me. RobHutten (talk) 19:53, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

It's not that easy. But when you think it's right that way, I won't do anything. I only can say that i worked properly for my german article and the name there got changed too (comment on the question there). It's used by the litearture (I can name at least three reference books that use it). Then it had two candidatures in which many users proofed the accuracy and no one claimed of the name Jan. Naturally Johannes is the forename, but the important thing is the used artist name which is Jan. But I don't want to argue and have better things to do ... Julius1990 (talk) 06:16, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Was this figure's surname originally (or alternately) Van der Meer? [2] [3] Robert K S (talk) 11:15, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Some contemporary references used "van der Meer" but I don't think anyone claims it was "originally" so. The two mean the same thing. Surnames just weren't cast in stone so much then. --RobHutten (talk) 18:30, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The point is that, as with most people of the day, the Latin form - here "Johannes" - was still very widely used for formal documents, which in the case of many types, such as church, university and guild registers etc, still actually were in Latin. Authors of German, Flemish and Dutch books also still tended to use their Latin forms, regardless of the language of the book. The first of these points (documents) was also partly true of France & England, the second (books) less so if the books were in the vernacular. I don't think there is any question that his family and friends called him "Jan" and would have sniggered if anyone had called him "Johannes" in an everyday context. The source we usually accept as the most authoritative for artist names, the Getty Union List of Artists Names, has "Jan" as its "preferred" form, though it is true that many museums still use "Johannes". Books split about equally, although I think, as with other people, there is a clear trend back towards the vernacular form (which was more common in the early days after his rediscovery). Johnbod (talk) 17:16, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Ignatius, first or third son?[edit]

The claim that Ignatius was Vermeer's first son is offered at the National Gallery web site: [4], but is contradicted here [5]. I'm inclined to go with the latter, owing to its more comprehensive overview. JNW (talk) 13:20, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Elaboration added, with ref from here [6]. JNW (talk) 13:33, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

John Michael Montias[edit]

It is hard to believe to work of Montias is not mentioned in this article. Vermeer was from being a saint, nor his or her family. See: Montias, J.M. (1989) Vermeer and his milieu.Taksen (talk) 14:59, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

If Montias' findings are reliable, it would make sense to introduce specific biographical information about the artist, rather than an overview of the author's contributions to cultural or economic studies. As it reads now, the paragraph on Vermeer's life contains more information on Montias than it does on Vermeer. JNW (talk) 20:03, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Grammar and punctuation and inconsistencies[edit]

The "Youth" section is very hard to follow... There are periods in the middle of sentences after the name Jansz; is that an abbreviation? Also, is "hired" the best word to use in this sentence: "Around 1631 Reynier Jansz. hired an inn, called the Flying Fox"... maybe "leased" would be more clear? Also, the whole paragraph is out of order chronologically and is confusing.

More confusion in other sections: "leaving his wife and eleven children in debt at his death" versus "Vermeer and his wife had fourteen children in total: three sons and seven daughters, the others were buried without having a name"... 3+7=10, not 11

There are also many run-on sentences, apparent misuse of colons, etc.

I'd try to clean it up myself, but considering how confusing it currently is, I'm worried I might make a mistake, losing subtle information. --Bobbozzo (talk) 08:04, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I concur. The narrative portion under the "Youth" heading should be improved and the inconsistency in the number of children should be addressed. Having read through it several times I was unable to decipher it. Part of the problem may be conflicting spellings for family members and conflicting information among sources. These conflicts should be resolved or explained.
Proposed redraft:
Vermeer was the son of Reynier Jansz, a middle class caffa worker. Caffa is a fine woven material of silk and cotton or wool. In 1615 Jansz married Dingenum Baltens in Amsterdam. They would eventually settle in Delft. By 1631 Jansz was registered as a master art dealer. In 1632, Vermeer was born, but only the date of his Baptism, October 31, 1632, is certain. In 1641, Jansz purchased a large house and an inn, "The Mechelen" for his family on the market square of Delft. Upon his father's death in 1652, Vermeer inherited his father's art business. Very little is known about Vermeer's artistic training during this period.
sourced from
Will someone more knowledgeable on Vermeer please rework this section? --Eudemis (talk) 05:40, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Joannis, Johannes, Jan, Reijer, Reynier, Reijnier, Digna, Dingnum, Bolnes, Bollenes, etc.[edit]

In the 17th century there were almost no ruled how to write your name, everything was possible. As there were no laws on having a last name most people used their patronym, to differiate. Only a few people had a last name, some used an alias or the last name of the mother, when the father had died. When the cities grew it really became a problem with all the Jansz. and Willemsz. in the Dutch cities and it has to trace such names back in the archives. Fortunately Delft was not a big city, but in Amsterdam it can be a real problem.

Besides the record in the Delft Archives show that the wife of Jan Vermeer recieved the holy sacrament anointing of the Sick before she died. This is not stated for her mother Maria Thins or Jan Vermeer! Sometimes this can be explained by the accuracy of the sacristan, or if he was in a hurry to finish the paper work afte a busy day. Taksen (talk) 08:57, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

His wife's surname is spelt three different ways throughout the article. Surely one way should be chosen, with the alternative two in brackets at the first instance of the name. Marinaki (talk) 09:38, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Why did you remove these two links? -

There are two other links listed supplying and reusing the information of Wikipedia, and selling wallpaper? Why should they exist here any longer?

Allthough I didn't like the impressionist music, and the soft tone voice, people (me) should have a chance to watch it, may be more then once. You are very quick removing something which was a lot of work and which will probably become practice.Taksen (talk) 08:01, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

The lead on "forgotten for.."[edit]

The lead states Vermeer was forgotten for nearly one hundred years, until 1866.. but Vermeer died in 1675, making it more like two hundred years. I changed "one" to "two", but my edit was reverted, because, I quote the edit summary, "in the first half of the 18th century he was still known, but not in the first halve of the 19th century." I have no idea whether this is correct, but if it is, the wording should be changed accordingly. The way things are now, the lead is confusing. --Jashiin (talk) 11:44, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Try finding a reference, a good historical analysis should mention Vermeer's obscurity and rediscovery...Modernist (talk) 12:08, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, the first thing I came across was this: "Vermeer is often cited as an example of a neglected genius. During his lifetime and for almost two centuries after his death—so the tale goes—he and his work went unappreciated until, in the nineteenth cnetury, he was finally discovered and properly esteemed. Was Vermeer really so long underestimated? In fact, he was not. While it is true that he did not achieve widespread fame until the nineteenth century, his work had always been valued and admired by well-informed connoisseurs" (Albert Blankert, "Vermeer and his Public", in Vermeer, Albert Blankert, John Michael Montias, & Gilles Aillaud, New York: Overlook, 2007, ISBN 9781585679799, p. 164). Blankert goes on to document his assertion at length. qp10qp (talk) 13:49, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm certainly no expert on Vermeer or even painting in general, but, um.. Well, its all about the definition of "forgotten"; with the kind of logic Mr. Blankert demonstrates, very few things have ever been forgotten. Various kinds of forgotten composers are my area of expertise, and I can easily draw examples from there. For instance, Johannes Ockeghem was an incredibly influential composer during the 15th and 16th centuries. His work, however, was not known to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert. His music wasn't performed and/or studied seriously for hundreds of years until the 20th century. And yet, by Mr. Blankert's logic, we can't say that Ockeghem has been forgotten. Because of course musicologists existed in any age who knew his work; there were few of them, yes, and most of them didn't think much of it, yes, but they knew about him, and therefore he hasn't been forgotten... only he has been.
Anyway, I made edits here because the statement in the lead seemed confusing. I think it should be expanded to "Vermeer remained unknown to the general public for two hundred years", or "Vermeer did not achieve widespread fame until 1866, when..", or something like that, to avoid any confusion. Blankert sounds like the right reference for this. --Jashiin (talk) 14:06, 30 March 2009 (UTC)


This passage strikes me as unencyclopedic: "What strikes in most of his paintings is a certain love, which easily could be called a love sickness, for the people and the objects in his paintings.[1]" This may be "true" in some sense, but it's not really verifiable or factual -- and I see it is sourced to a 1917 encyclopedia; maybe it reflects an outmoded authorial style? If there is a citation to an art historian making this claim, that would be a better way to get this idea into the article. Iseespots (talk) 13:06, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I find it strange to think the sentence is unencyclopedic when it comes from another respected, though old-fashioned encyclopaedia. May be there is a source, I just don't know. There are thousands of books and articles written on Vermeer. I just don't have the time to read them all. I would not be surprised the painter was perceived at that time in a similar way outside the Netherlands. I just wanted to show the "old-fashioned" perception on the painter and his work, written almost hundred years ago.Taksen (talk) 05:44, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Following up on the point made by Iseespots above: encyclopedias-- even an open one such as Wikipedia-- should present facts, not present value or emotional claims. Including language such as "love sickness" which seems to present a particular viewpoint or inference needs to be attributed to an actual person presenting that opinion, not merely to another source which may make the claim-- particularly if that other source is dated and can not be easily checked. There are many opinions or claims presented in the article which are non-encyclopedic or unattributed, including:
  • ...The Allegory of Catholic Faith, made between 1670 and 1672, reflects belief in the Eucharist in a theatrical and ironic manner.
  • In this way, he created a world more perfect than any he had witnessed.
  • There is no other seventeenth century artist who early in his career employed...
  • A comparable but even more remarkable, yet effectual...
  • This could suggest that Vermeer was supplied with materials by a collector...
Thus, I tagged it for original research. I'd also suggest someone with a native grasp of English to go through and remove some of the oddly written language. --HidariMigi (talk) 19:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, but why dont you change my language, are you too good? I dont like you attitude, your user page is empty. Taksen (talk) 19:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, after having read this, read the article over, and straightening some other issues out, I concluded that the first part of the first sentence in the third paragraph ("After having been forgotten, but not by some connoisseurs,...") was simply unnecessary. Since that seems to be the crux f the issue being talked about here, and therefore the reason for adding the OR tag, I've removed that as well.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 09:38, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, I complained about this several months ago, and I still find the issue important. It isn't exactly a common case for an artist to remain almost completely forgotten for 200 years and then eventually gain worldwide fame (I mean, how many 17th century painters, or really any century painters, had an Oscar-nominated film made about them, featuring a famous actress, winning numerous awards, and all?). Simply stating "rediscovered" at the start at the paragraph doesn't do it for me. I think there should be a sentence explaining that the wide public had no idea about his paintings until mid-19th century. There's even a specific source for this, given on this talk page, just above this section. --Jashiin (talk) 10:14, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
The truncation to 'Vermeer was rediscovered' seemed like a non-sequitur, so I've tried elaborating on his obscurity prior to the 19th century rediscovery. JNW (talk) 22:30, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Nice work JNW. Part of the problem, for others as well as myself I'm sure, is a lack of access to decent sources for real content changes. I do agree that the original change made the transition into the paragraph something of a non sequitur, but that seems to be a moot point now.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 03:14, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Just needed some clarification and cites; I added the text from Blankert above into the footnotes, too. JNW (talk) 03:55, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Good job, JNW; the paragraph works beautifully now. --Jashiin (talk) 22:21, 29 September 2009 (UTC)


  • Hallo, Mr Hidari, you did not have to redirect your talkpage. What I would like to know if you are a professor in chemistry and don't like us to know.
  • One year ago the lemma here was not acceptable for me. I only started to add to it, after I worked on the Dutch lemma.
  • There is something strange with Johannes Vermeer. He seems to be an extremely popular artist since the exhibition in the MMA, but not many people, who probably bought the catalogue or skilled writers on Wikipedia have added to him, except user:JNW, and occasionaly user:Stomme or User:Johnbod, who all wrote on Dutch painters or paintings from the 17th century.
  • Vermeer is regarded as either pathetic, which I liked to point out in the introduction, and in the sentence on the Allegory of Catholic Faith. Unfortunately my information is misunderstood. Secondly Vermeer is a too difficult subject to formulate in a few sentences what the experts think what might have happened to Vermeer during his life.
  • One can easily fill a bedroom with books on the paintings of Vermeer, full with facts, ideas and opinions. So please accept my limited English as JNW does in the meantime or User:Neddyseagoon. He does not seem to have problems with my Dutch and improves my English when necessary, without complaining.
  • Johnbod or some Germans (De:Diskussion:Die Malkunst) think I should not interfere on "their" lemma's in "their" language, but I have more than one advantage: I can understand and read primary sources written in Dutch, Frisian or German.
  • In my point of view it is an advantage to be able to understand more than one language. I used a lot of information from the English or German Wikipedia in my articles on the Dutch Wikipedia. I also added to many lemma's what was written in Dutch, French or German. Since I am more experienced I add references too.Taksen (talk) 22:20, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't say you "should not interfere on "their" lemma's in "their" language", or not edit en:WP, but: a) it is frankly a pain to have to reedit your English over many articles (obviously far better than my Dutch), and b)(not so relevant here) some small articles on painters get overburdened with archival details of their residential addresses, property transactions etc, when we still say next to nothing about their art. Regardless of language, this is the stuff we should add first. Johnbod (talk) 17:00, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

On unsourced passages[edit]

I heard my name. It is clear that the above contributors are each seeking to act constructively; Taksen has made many valuable contributions, and Iseespots and HidariMigi raise valid questions about unsourced passages. If questionable claims remain, they can be tagged, removed, or sourced. As for those mentioned above:

...The Allegory of Catholic Faith, made between 1670 and 1672, reflects belief in the Eucharist can likely be supported in its now shortened form; I've already found something online.

In this way, he created a world more perfect than any he had witnessed is sourced already to Liedtke.

There is no other seventeenth century artist who early in his career employed... could use a footnote. A few years ago the conservator from the Hague added information on Vermeer's use of lapiz; my hope is that this was part of that contribution, and a cite can be retrieved.

A comparable but even more remarkable, yet effectual... may come from the same source. Again, if it is from an interview with the Hague conservator who worked on Vermeer's paintings, then it's pretty solid.

This could suggest that Vermeer was supplied with materials by a collector... is, I suspect, from the same source. I will look back into the edit history.

The love sickness quote is rather poetically old-fashioned. One has nothing against it, but perhaps it is an anachronistic turn of phrase that is out of place, or can be used as an example of an earlier era's rediscovery of the artist, especially if there should ever be an expansion to include an 'assessment' section. JNW (talk) 00:45, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

See the section on 'Lapis' above. JNW (talk) 00:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

The interview from which the technical quotes are taken, verbatim, comes from here: [7]. As I recall, it was the conservator himself (by the way, despite the similarity in monogram, there is no relation) who pasted the dialogue into the article, which raises several questions:

Is there a consensus that the website this comes from is a reliable source?
If so, should the quotes be used directly, or paraphrased? Either way credit must be specified. My apologies for not cleaning this up better when it first was added. JNW (talk) 00:57, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

in the Youth section[edit]

There's a sentence in the first paragraph of the first sentence that says: "In 1625 Reijnier was involved in a fight, and the soldier died from his wounds five months later." This fact is almost certainly true, but there's no supporting content around it, and on it's own it's an almost perfect non sequitur. If anyone knows of any details about this, or can point out a source which talks about it, I thing everyone would appreciate it being mentioned or edited. Thanks
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 20:05, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

The story is from: Montias, John Michael (1991). Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History (reprint, illustrated ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691002897. I don't have a pagenumber.

Spelling of wife's name?[edit]

Vermeer's wife's name is spelled both "Catherina" and "Catharina" within the text. Which is correct? Alanasings (talk) 01:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

A Google search turns up both, but I'm finding more "Catharina". JNW (talk) 02:08, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
If you search "Catharina Vermeer" (in quotes) over 7,000 results. The same with "Catherina Vermeer" gave me 349. Not very close. It looks like there aren't any Catherina's left on the page, though, so I suppose that's official. Dancindazed (talk) 04:21, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

"Allegation" of Photography[edit]

Is this the artist who is sometimes accused of using photography in his work, though the art of photography was perfected centuries after his death  Jon Ascton  (talk) 09:38, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Theft of The Concert[edit]

The theft of The Concert from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston isn't mentioned. While it is mentioned in the museum's article, perhaps it is worth a mention here?Eudemis (talk) 12:26, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Burial Maria Thins[edit]

There is nothing remarkable on her burial in a protestant church. All the Dutch catholics in the 17th century were buried in protestant, former catholic churches. Moved sentence on her daughter receiving the holy oil to Maria Thins. Taksen (talk) 07:27, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Vermeer's wedding date[edit]

How could it be recorded as, being married before he was born? (talk) 17:54, 14 December 2010 (UTC)Grant Hudson-Artist

Johannes Vermeer was born in 1632 and married in 1653. You may be looking at the date for his father, Reijnier Janszoon, who was married in 1615. MANdARAX  XAЯAbИAM 18:17, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

relatively little is known[edit]

My first time visiting this article.. I found the section named Life devoted to the single sentence that little is known, then followed by the fairly standard sized sections on his life to be quite odd. I understand what the article is trying to say but does it really need its own section before the rest of the info on his life? Maybe just work the sentence into the rest somewhere? Dancindazed (talk) 04:16, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


Are things like horses named after him really part of 'legacy'? Surely it's more popular culture references. (talk) 23:56, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

An article[edit]

Vermeer's paintings might be 350 year-old color photographs  Doctor Bruno  10:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Optical aide non-controversy[edit]

Is the claim that Vermeer used a camera obscura and similar optical aides really as controversial as this article implies? My copy of Gardner's Art Through the Ages (specifially "The Western Perspective", 14th edition, Volume II) says, for example, that Vermeer's "convincing representation of interior spaces depended in part on his employment of the camera obscura" (page 613). Later, it says that Canaletto "often used a camera obscura, as Vermeer did before him" (page 632). And so on. Gabbe (talk) 00:15, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Canaletto is known to have used an optical device, but the case for Vermeer has been more speculative. In Vermeer and the Delft School (2001, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art), Walter Liedtke refers to "the hypothesis that Vermeer made use of the camera obscura" (p.155) and later says: "The present writer was recently informed by the director of a great museum that Vermeer 'owned a camera obscura.' However, the availability of a portable model to anyone in the seventeenth century is doubted in recent studies of the device itself: see Hammond 1986, pp. 301–2, and Delsaute 1998" (p. 581, note 55).
Consulting Delsaute, we have this: "If Vermeer had used the camera obscura, even as a 'compositional aid', which must mean in the preparatory drawing phase, he could have foregone the rules of traditional geometric perspective, since an image produced in a camera obscura possesses sufficient spatial coherence in itself, and faithfully reproduced by the artist, it needs no additional perspective construction. Yet Jørgen Wadum has demonstrated by his material study of Vermeer's works that, in most of his compositions, traditional perspective plays a key role .... Vermeer, like many artists of his time, must have known of the camera obscura. It is not unthinkable that the images it produced were of interest to him .... but it seems rash to continue to believe that the camera obscura was one of the tools with which he worked (Gaskell, I., Jonker, M., & National Gallery of Art, 1998, Vermeer Studies, Washington: National Gallery of Art. p. 120). In the same volume is a study of Vermeer's materials and techniques by Nicola Costaras, who has worked with Wadum as a conservator of a work by Vermeer. She writes that "in fifteen paintings the point on the canvas that coincides with the vanishing point of the perspective lines of the composition is marked in some way. In most examples there is a point loss in the ground layer (where a pin was stuck into the canvas). This indicates that the perspective lines were transferred to the canvases by means of a chalk line" (Vermeer Studies, 1998, p. 152). This kind of evidence, and the absence of historical evidence for Vermeer having a camera obscura, account for the ongoing controversy. Even Tim Jenison declares (in the Vanity Fair article that he is only 95% certain he's solved the riddle. Ewulp (talk) 05:29, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thank you! Gabbe (talk) 08:53, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
For future reference, I've also found JSTOR 3048184, JSTOR 3048905, JSTOR 1576575 and doi:10.1016/j.endeavour.2007.05.004 (the latter of which mentions "the copious literature on the issue of Vermeer's possible use of a camera obscura"). So this indeed seems to be a matter of some contention. Gabbe (talk) 10:18, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
"there is no historical evidence regarding Vermeer's interest in optics". In the cited site though, specifically , it states that Van Leeuwenhoek and Vermeer both worked with, and were fascinated by state-of-the-art optical devices, optics and its philosophical ramifications. Kvantikos afros (talk) 16:52, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
There is only circumstantial evidence for Vermeer's interest in optical devices, but this evidence is so powerful that many scholars take it as a given that Vermeer used such a device. Here is more from the same website— : "Why have scholars imagined that Vermeer used the camera obscura as an aid to his painting? There is, after all, absolutely no historical evidence to support this idea—the camera leaves no physical trace of its use—but only the visual evidence exhibited by the paintings themselves." Ewulp (talk) 02:00, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, in the article we have "no interest in optics" and in "worked with, and were 'fascinated' with optical devices". It is completely contradictory. I thought maybe there is a citation for Vermeer's fascination with lenses, not camera obscura, but just lenses. Like Leeuwenhoek who created and used lenses, but never actually used a camera obscura. (Although that may be a controversy, because some believe that he was the one who actually build the device for Vermeer to use). Probably there isn't.. Anyway, thank you. Kvantikos afros (talk) 12:53, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Revert based on OR[edit]

@Isambard Kingdom: - Please refer this revert. My edit was not OR. It is the point mentioned by Jenison in the documentary. He says that bare human eyes cannot detect such colour change. But by colour matching with optical aids, such accuracy can be obtained. Please see Tim's Vermeer documentary from 40:50 onwards. Thank you. --Harshanh (talk) 02:21, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Okay, I accept that. Can you put a citation in for the source? Thanks, Isambard Kingdom (talk) 02:32, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Did so. Thank you --Harshanh (talk) 02:47, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Incorrect facts?[edit]

"In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today."

In the Wikipedia page for Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile, they were both apparently dead in the end of the 18th century? (talk) 07:45, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

We like to know which school you went to. They both died in the 19th century, resp. 1868 and 1869.Taksen (talk) 08:12, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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