Art History

5 Little-Known Vermeer Paintings To Discover for the First Time

5 Little-Known Vermeer Paintings To Discover for the First Time



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Johannes Vermeer — More Than a Girl with a Pearl Earring

Johannes Vermeer is the beloved 17th-century Dutch painter who created masterpieces such as Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Milkmaid. These works often steal the show.

But the master artist’s body of work, while small, has an incredible number of paintings that show a different side of his artistry and deserve time in the spotlight. Here are five hidden gems from Vermeer that aren’t often touted but definitely deserve a keen look.

Diana and Her Companions

Housed in the Hague, Diana and Her Companions is an early work from Vermeer. It shows a mythological scene and is believed to be one of, if not the, earliest work from the artist dated to the early 1650s.

The quiet, reflective demeanor of the foreground figures will become a relative constant in his art.

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha

Vermeer painted relatively few works in his time — some 60 in total and only 34 survive. Who would have thought that among them would be a biblical scene? Housed in the National Gallery of Scotland it is the artist’s largest painting (63 in x 56 in).

The Little Street

This master artist is known for his color palette, his intimate interiors and genre scenes that seem to capture an incredibly real slice of life. Not so for land- and cityscapes and yet The Little Street charms just the same.

Perhaps because the colors are rich and varied and the human element invigorating despite the humble activities depicted. Vermeer as a landscape painter. Just imagine the possibilities.

The Love Letter

Vermeer was moderately successful in life and fell into anonymity after his death. It wasn’t until his work was rediscovered in the 19th century that he gained the international acclaim he is known for.

It’s interesting to note that numerous 19th-century artists took up his style and themes. One of which, private moments of women in their households, is shown in The Love Letter. Imagine, 200 years after Vermeer’s death, artists painted to be just like him.

The Geographer

Oftentimes The Geographer gets second billing to The Astronomer though the two, according to a 2017 conservation project, were literally cut from the same bolt of cloth and may be considered pendant paintings, made as a pair. The two paintings, along with The Procuress, are the only works that Vermeer signed.

Expressive Figures

The expressive beauty of Vermeer’s figures and the fluidity of watercolor are a perfect match. Combine your inspiration for both working alongside Betsy Dillard Stroud as she guides you toward the heart of your own personal painting style in her Intuitive Art: Expressive Figures DVD. It’s an exciting exploration of color and form. Enjoy!


Watch the video: How to Be an Artist: A Conversation with Jerry Saltz and Michael Rips (August 2022).