Johannes Vermeer was born in Delft in 1632, yet little is known about his life. There is no information about his artistic training and only 35 paintings can be firmly attributed to him. No drawings or prints by him are known.

It is believed that Vermeer inherited a silk-weaving business and that he also worked as an art dealer.

Dutch artists delighted in recording aspects of their physical world. Vermeer's accurate depictions of maps, musical instruments, paintings within paintings and his interest in recording differences in textures and materials and the effects of sunlight and shadow can only be understood in terms of realism. He is regarded to be one of the finest genre painters of seventeenth-century Holland.

THE LITTLE STREET by Vermeer was painted from his own house. You can see here his great love of detail and careful observation yet he wanted to capture the color values made by wind and weather in this painting.

The windows are painted in blacks and browns, yet they glow vividly through, due to the delicate lines and small points. The figures are elements of form and color that help show depth. The figure in the doorway almost shows slight action and balance.

The pattern of lines suggests a cobble street, yet Vermeer did not draw a single stone for it would have taken away from wide range of color in the old house. You can sense tranquility through his use of lines. Vermeer encourages us to explore its simplicity and beauty.  


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