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Vermeer in Detail

by Garry Schwartz

new icon A low-threshold, high-level introduction to Vermeer based on 140 large and lavish details from his work. Each is provided with commentary, covering subject matter, technique and modes of picture-making, the origins of the objects he paints, comparisons of motifs, scholarly discussion concerning his work and more.

Concise entries and illustrations of the 37 paintings currently given to Vermeer, including the disputed attributions. Preceded by a capsule biography.

Purchase of the volume provides the buyer with exclusive access to a website with high-resolution images of the complete paintings.


Dutch (Ludion, Antwerp), French (Hazan, Paris) and English (UK: Thames & Hudson, London - US: Abrams, New York)

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry

by Adriaan E. Waiboer, with Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Blaise Ducos
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry

new iconfrom the Yale University Press website:
The genre painting of the Dutch Golden Age between 1650 and 1675 ranks among the highest pinnacles of Western European art. The virtuosity of these works, as this book demonstrates, was achieved in part thanks to a vibrant artistic rivalry among numerous first-rate genre painters working in different cities across the Dutch Republic. They drew inspiration from each other's painting, and then tried to surpass each other in technical prowess and aesthetic appeal.

The Delft master Johannes Vermeer is now the most renowned of these painters of everyday life. Though he is frequently portrayed as an enigmatic figure who worked largely in isolation, the essays here reveal that Vermeer's subjects, compositions, and figure types in fact owe much to works by artists from other Dutch cities. Enlivened with 180 superb illustrations, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting highlights the relationships—comparative and competitive—among Vermeer and his contemporaries, including Gerrit Dou, Gerrit ter Borch, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, and Frans van Mieris.

Adriaan E. Waiboer is curator of northern European art at the National Gallery of Ireland. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. is curator of northern baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Blaise Ducos is curator of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musée du Louvre.

with essays by Marjorie E. Wiesemanr, Eric Jan Sluijter, Piet Bakker and. Melanie Gifford

Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer

by Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Quentin Buvelot

new icon The exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue in both English and Dutch, published by Royal Collection Trust, the Mauritshuis and Mercatorfonds. The catalogue was written by the exhibition's curators, Desmond Shawe-Taylor (Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, Royal Collection Trust) and Quentin Buvelot (Senior Curator at the Mauritshuis). Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer is currently available in the shop at the Mauritshuis.

Masters of the Everyday is splendid, featur[ing] comprehensive, lavishly illustrated entries on twenty-seven beautiful pictures by some of the most outstanding Dutch masters of the seventeenth century
HNA Review of Books, Historians of Netherlandish Art 2016-05-16)

Vermeer: The Complete Works

by Karl Schütz
December 5, 2015
Vermeer: The Complete Paintings, Karl Schutz

from the Taschen website:
The Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century was home to one of the greatest flowerings of painting in the history of Western art. Freed from the constraints of royal and church patronage, artists created a rich outpouring of works that circulated through an open market to patrons and customers at every level of Dutch society. The closely observed details of daily life captured in portraits, genre scenes and landscapes offer a wealth of information about the possessions, activities and circumstances that distinguished members of the social classes, from the nobility to the urban poor. The dazzling array of paintings gathered here—by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Gerrit ter Borch, as well as Rembrandt and Vermeer—illuminated by essays from leading scholars, invites us to explore a vibrant early modern society and its reflection in a golden age of brilliant painting.

This XL edition brings together the complete catalog of Vermeer's work, presenting the calm yet compelling scenes so treasured in galleries across Europe and the United States into one monograph of utmost reproduction quality. With brand new photography of many works, Vermeer's restrained but richly evocative repertoire of domestic actions – ranging from letter writing to music making to preparations in the kitchen – unfolds in a generous format, including three fold-out spreads. Numerous details emphasize the artist's remarkable ability not only to bear witness to the trends and trimmings of the Dutch Golden Age but also to encapsulate an entire story in just one transient gesture, expression, or look.

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer

by Ronni Baer with essays by Henk van Nierop, Herman Roodenburg, Eric Jan Sluijter, Marieke de Winkel, and Sanny de Zoete
October 27, 2015
Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer

The Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century was home to one of the greatest flowerings of painting in the history of Western art. Freed from the constraints of royal and church patronage, artists created a rich outpouring of works that circulated through an open market to patrons and customers at every level of Dutch society. The closely observed details of daily life captured in portraits, genre scenes and landscapes offer a wealth of information about the possessions, activities and circumstances that distinguished members of the social classes, from the nobility to the urban poor. The dazzling array of paintings gathered here—by artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Gerrit ter Borch, as well as Rembrandt and Vermeer—illuminated by essays from leading scholars, invites us to explore a vibrant early modern society and its reflection in a golden age of brilliant painting.


by Wayne Franits
Vermeer, Wayne Franits

In this new monograph, the latest in Phaidon's Art and Ideas series, Wayne Franits examines the work of Vermeer within the framework of his times, one of the most intellectually creative periods in this history of art. Written in a lively and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship on the artist, Franits provides fresh insights into many of Vermeer's most famous works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings. All paintings by Vermeer are illustrated.

about the author:
Wayne Franits, a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, is Professor of Art History at Syracuse University, New York. His numerous publications have explored a variety of topics within the field, ranging from genre painting and portraiture to the work of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio.

from the publisher's website:

El luthier de Delft es una obra que analiza la música (aunque también el arte y la ciencia) del siglo XVII, especialmente centrada en la cultura neerlandesa. El libro gira en torno a tres personajes centrales, el pintor Jan Vermeer, el filósofo Baruch Spinoza y el músico Jan Pietrszoon Sweelinck. A partir de ellos, el lector se encontrará con la construcción de instrumentos musicales, sus maderas y barnices, así como con el papel de la mujer en el arte y la música; la vida de los pintores y el mundo simbólico de sus obras y los estudios científicos destinados a la óptica y la difusión del telescopio. Un libro lleno de resonancias y armonías, sabiduría y sutileza.

(The luthier of Delft is a work that analyzes the music (but also art and science) of the seventeenth century, especially focusing on Dutch culture. The book revolves around three central characters, the painter Johannes Vermeer, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza and musician Jan Sweelinck Pietrszoon. From them, the reader will find the construction of musical instruments, their woods and varnishes, as well as the role of women in art and music; the lives of the painters and the symbolic world of his works and scientific studies for the optical telescope and dissemination. The book isfull of resonances and harmonies, wisdom and subtlety.

Ramon Andrés is a celebrated spanish musicologist and essay-writer.

"Ramón Andrés nos vuelve, en efecto, a sorprender, no ya o no solo por su vastísima erudición, que le permite saltar, con natural prestancia, de las ciencias a las letras y a las artes, sino encandilarnos con su relato deambulatorio hasta arribar al meollo de la vida, cuya auténtica universalidad se entreteje con deslumbrantes detalles minúsculos."
Francisco Calvo Serraller, El País

"¿Cómo puede alguien saber tantas cosas, sobre temas tan diversos, saberlas tan bien, y explicarlas con tal claridad? El luthier de Delft es la cartografía de un país y de una época, con constelaciones de saberes diversos que nos permiten navegar por la música, la filosofía, la ciencia y la vida de los Países Bajos y parte de Europa entre los siglos XVI y XVIII."
Perico Pastor, La Vanguardia

"Lo que convierte a este libro en cautivador, no es su contenido, sino su forma. La falta de pretensión, la delicadeza expresiva, el funambulismo con el que cruza por un hilo delgado de una idea a otra, la sobria piedad con que describe un mundo desgarrado es lo que convierten su lectura en una experiencia pocas veces repetida. Auténtico tratado de la música en la pintura y genuina aventura de las ideas estéticas."
José María Parreño, El Mundo

"Ramón Andrés, en su enésima investigación de descomunal erudición y elegancia, toma el instrumento con la suavidad de su prosa excelsa y lo arropa con un grado de historicidad insuperable para cualquier otro especialista."
Toni Montesinos, La Razón

from the publisher's website:

In Eye of the Beholder, Laura J. Snyder transports us to the streets, inns, and guildhalls of seventeenth-century Holland, where artists and scientists gathered, and to their studios and laboratories, where they mixed paints and prepared canvases, ground and polished lenses, examined and dissected insects and other animals, and invented the modern notion of seeing. With charm and narrative flair Snyder brings Vermeer and Van Leeuwenhoek—and the men and women around them—vividly to life. The story of these two geniuses and the transformation they engendered shows us why we see the world—and our place within it—as we do today.


"Rich and Rewarding" — Graeme Wood, The American Scholar

"It is clear that Snyder is out of her depth in much of the perspective and optics that she discusses. She gives a rather abbreviated account of the experiments made with cameras by art historians and fails to pinpoint properly what exactly it was that led them and numerous others to suspect Vermeer of using the camera in the first place. She rejects out of hand my own theoretical and experimental work. And she makes no mention of Tim Jenison's very remarkable experiment, which proves beyond doubt the feasibility of painting in colour and in meticulous minute detail with a camera obscura. Indeed all the exciting work that has been happening on these questions over the last fifteen years is absent from Snyder's account. This is work in progress, there are many matters of debate and uncertainty, and much remains to be investigated and discovered. But what an opportunity has been missed here!"—Philip Steadman (author of Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth behind the Masterpieces, 2001 ) Amazon Customer Review

"Laura Snyder is both a masterly scholar and a powerful storyteller. In Eye of the Beholder, she transports us to the wonder-age of seventeenth-century Holland, as new discoveries in optics were shaping the two great geniuses of Delft—Vermeer and van Leeuwenhoek—and changing the course of art and science forever. A fabulous book."
—Oliver Sacks

Jonathan Lopez, The Wall Street Journal Online

"Eye of the Beholder is a thoughtful elaboration of the modern notion of seeing. Laura J. Snyder delves into the seventeenth century fascination with the tools of art and science, and shows how they came together to help us make sense of what is right in front of our eyes."
Russell Shorto, author of Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

Every art historian nowadays except Ueno dismissed hidden influence to Vermeer from Christiaan Huygens, who is the most powerful Light physics and astronomy researcher in the seventeenth century. Because unlike Leewenhoek's close relation to Vermeer, it was neglected or underestimated until now, the event a father of Christiaan, Constantijn Huygens who is most influential musician and politician on that time, visited Vermeer's atelier with his friends. People also dismissed the fact that Christiaan Huygens invented microtonal music theory. According to Ueno, Constantijn Huygens' interest for Vermeer's painting shows he is the most possible candidate for the person who stands intersection between painting, music and physics in the history of all subjects.

Ueno masterfully lays out the elements of faith in Vermeer's use of warped optics in his carefully composed paintings and the Japanese art concept called 'Mitate' (literally translated: look alike, originally coming from eighteenth-c entury Japanese Ukiyo-e painter Suzuki Harunobu)—from this, he proceeds to a brilliant exposition of a new theory for the pictorial universe that creates depth of perception and the greater understanding of light in relation to what is seen; eventually, Man becoming Altair, Woman Vega in his painting Officer and a Laughing Girl.

reveiw from:
"Kazuo Ueno, Kazuo Ueno Discusses New Theory of Light in New Book: The role of light in both science and art according to Ueno's The Light Theatre Opened to Universe (II) provides a continuity between both realms that provides important insights for light's future roles in human life."
TOKYO (PRWEB) February 04, 2014

From the Pennsylvania State University Press website:
Americans have long had a taste for the art and culture of Holland's Golden Age. As a result, the United States can boast extraordinary holdings of Dutch paintings. Celebrated masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals are exceptionally well represented, but many fine paintings by their contemporaries can be found as well. In this groundbreaking volume, fourteen noted American and Dutch scholars examine the allure of seventeenth-century Dutch painting to Americans over the past centuries. The authors of Holland's Golden Age in America explain in lively detail why and how American collectors as well as museums turned to the Dutch masters to enrich their collections. They examine the role played by Dutch settlers in colonial America and their descendants, the evolution of American appreciation of the Dutch school, the circumstances that led to the Dutch school swiftly becoming one of the most coveted national schools of painting, and, finally, the market for Dutch pictures today. Richly illustrated, this volume is an invaluable contribution to the scholarship on the collecting history of Dutch art in America, and it is certain to inspire further research.

In addition to the editor, the contributors are Ronni Baer, Quentin Buvelot, Lloyd DeWitt, Peter Hecht, Lance Humphries, Walter Liedtke, Louisa Wood Ruby, Catherine B. Scallen, Annette Stott, Peter C. Sutton, Dennis P. Weller, Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., and Anne T. Woollett.

This book provides answers for anyone who has ever wondered why there are so many great Dutch paintings in U.S. collections. Essays by leading curators and scholars draw on the history of art, as well as an understanding of cultural, economic, and political conditions, to illuminate the American taste for seventeenth-century Dutch painting.
Emilie Gordenker, Director, Mauritshuis, The Hague

Drawing on the experience and insights of many of her colleagues in museums and the academy, Esmée Quodbach brings us an impressively broad overview of the early collectors of Dutch art in America. This essential volume provides illuminating context for major figures such as J. P. Morgan and welcomes unsung heroes such as Robert Gilmor, Jr., onto this stage, but also lifts the curtain on early colonial as well as contemporary collections. These varied accounts are spiked with color, drama, and highlights, including the story of the wealthy collector who has to ask, "Who is Vermeer?"
David de Witt, Bader Curator of European Art, Queen's University

Esmée Quodbach is Assistant Director of the Center for the History of Collecting at The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library in New York.

Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis

by Lea van der Vinde, with contributions from Quentin Buvelot, Lynn Federle Orr, Emilie Gordenker, Petria Noble and Ariane van Suchtelen
(110 color illustrations)
Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis

Housed in a splendid seventeenth-century palace in The Hague, the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis is home to some of the world's most beloved paintings--including Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring—and has become a destination for art enthusiasts from around the world. This engaging, accessible companion volume to a long-awaited exhibition guides readers through the highlights of the collection as if they were wandering the historic rooms themselves. A lavish plate section features 35 works, each accompanied by texts that explore its historical provenance and individual significance. Curatorial essays describe the building's founder, Count Johan Maurits, and his experience as a Dutch colonist in the New World; the formation of the collection; and also recent discoveries about the materials and techniques employed by these great artists. Fans of Vermeer's iconic masterpiece will delight in discovering that it is one of many beautiful artworks in the Mauritshuis's elegant rooms.

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

by Gregor J.M. Weber
64 pages full-colour, paperback, Dutch and English
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

The hushed mood, the painstaking composition, the modulating blues, the suggestion of light—all these aspects make Vermeer's Woman in Blue (c. 1663) one of the great masterpieces of painting. Discover this Rijksmuseum highlight in a book by Vermeer expert Gregor Weber. A Rijksmuseum Publication.

Click here to order.

Published to accompany the exhibition Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure at the National Gallery, London 26 June – 8 September 2013.

from the National Gallery website:
Music was among the most popular motifs in paintings of the Dutch "Golden Age". This attractive, accessible book presents a selection of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings with musical themes, juxtaposed with contemporary instruments and popular songbooks. By offering an overview of musical entertainment in the Dutch Republic during the seventeenth century, and outlining some of the diverse connotations of music in art, Vermeer and Music is a new insight into the significance of these popular images.

Five magnificent paintings by Johannes Vermeer – the National Gallery's A Lady Standing at a Virginal and A Lady Seated at a Virginal, The Music Lesson (The Royal Collection), A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals (private collection), and The Guitar Player, on loan from Kenwood House, London – form the heart of this book. Vermeer and Music enhances our appreciation of these extraordinary paintings – as well as related pictures by other Dutch masters – with an in-depth exploration of their subject matter.

This book is generously illustrated with details of paintings and musical instruments, showcasing the extraordinary craftsmanship of these works. Vermeer and Music also features details from a selection of seventeenth-century songbooks, charming volumes filled with love songs, poems, and illustrations of amorous duets. Vermeer and Music will appeal to anyone who loves music, or the art of Vermeer and his illustrious contemporaries.

Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence

by Marjorie E. Wieseman, Wayne Franits & H. Perry Chapman
Vermeer's Women

Focusing on the extraordinary Lacemaker from the Musée du Louvre, this beautiful book investigates the subtle and enigmatic paintings by Johannes Vermeer that celebrate the intimacy of the Dutch household. Moments frozen in paint that reveal young women sewing, reading or playing musical instruments, captured in Vermeer's uniquely luminous style, recreate a silent and often mysterious domestic realm, closed to the outside world, and inhabited almost exclusively by women and children.

Three internationally recognized experts in the field explain why women engaged in mundane domestic tasks, or in pleasurable pastimes such as music making, writing letters, or adjusting their toilette, comprise some of the most popular Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century. Among the most intriguing of these compositions are those that consciously avoid any engagement with the viewer. Rather than acknowledging our presence, figures avert their gazes or turn their backs upon us; they stare moodily into space or focus intently on the activities at hand. In viewing these paintings, we have the impression that we have stumbled upon a private world kept hidden from casual regard.

Human Connections in the Age of Vermeer

by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Danielle H.A.C. Lokin
Scala Publishers Ltd
Vermeer exhibition catalogue

This book focuses on the many forms of communication that existed in seventeenth-century Dutch society between family members, lovers, and professional acquaintances, both present and absent. The forty-four carefully selected Dutch genre paintings include major works by many of the finest masters of the period, including Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Gerrit ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu. Vermeer's three masterpieces about love letters form the core of the exhibition as they are profound examples of the power of communication. Dutch artists of the seventeenth century portrayed the wide range of emotions elicited by the various forms of communication, not only in the manner in which they render gestures and facial expressions of personal interactions, but also in the ways in which they show men and women responding to the written word. The painters often introduced objects from daily life that had symbolic implications, among them musical instruments, to enrich the pictorial narratives of their scenes. Published in conjunction with the exhibition Communication: Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer (2011–2012), which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the diplomatic exchanges between Japan and the Netherlands, this book connects the pictorial and the literary aspects of Dutch cultural traditions during the Golden Age.

Views on Vermeer: 12 Short Stories

color, HD, 52 min

director - Hans Pool
photography - Hans Pool
screenplay - Koos de Wilt
Views on Vermeer: 12 Short Stories trailer:



onsale at: ICARUS

Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) left us a small oeuvre of only 36 paintings. Internationally, the power of his work is now more profound than ever. Blockbuster exhibitions, the novel and movie Girl with a pearl earring caught a broad audience. Millions are touched by his work. What do we see in Vermeer that makes him so contemporary? The dignity of his painted ladies, the cinematic and photographic character of his images, the psychological impact, the serenity or apparent glimpse in our own everyday life? Influential contemporary artists, photographers and opinion leadersunravel the extraordinary and mysterious impact of this seventeenth-century master in our day and age. A Film by Hans Pool and Koos de Wilt.

interviews with:

Tom Hunter, Alain de Botton, Walter Liedtke, Otto Naumann, Thomas Kaplan, Chuck Close, Philip Steadman, Peter Webber, Erwin Olaf, Joel Meyerowitz, Lawrence Weschler, Tracy Chevalier, Steve McCurry, Arthur K. Wheelock, Jonathan Janson, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Geoffrey Batchen

The Rijksmuseum Bulletin 2012 - No. 1

"The restoration of 'Woman in Blue Reading' a Letter by Johannes Vermeer"

"A Question of Framing: On Vermeer's 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter'"

Click here to purchase,

Vermeer: The Milkmaid

by Walter Liedtke
Vermeer: The Milkmaid

This 36-page catalogue of the MET exhibition Vermeer's Masterpiece,The Milkmaid discusses the painting's style, meaning, place within Vermeer's oeuvre, its first owner and later history.

The author reveals that a long tradition of amorous milkmaids and kitchen maids in Netherlandish art is continued here with such subtle understatement that the artist's intentions have been misunderstood for generations. The Metropolitan's own five paintings by Vermeer and seven other Dutch pictures in the collection are also included in the exhibition and discussed in this generously illustrated publication.

Click here to buy at the MET bookshop.

Vermeer: The Complete Painting

by Walter Liedtke
Vermeer: The Complete Painting

Since his rediscovery in the later half of the 19th century, Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) has been one of the most admired and influential European painters. His extremely private life, his supposed use of a camera obscura, and the fact that his teacher remains unidentified have, until recently, encouraged a view of the "Sphinx of Delft" as an isolated genius shrouded in an air of mystery. Walter Liedtke's new monograph reveals Vermeer's life to be well-documented and places his work in the context of the Delft school and of Delft society as a whole. Vermeer's many admirers will relish Liedtke's exploration of subtleties of meaning and refinements of technique and style. Alongside the most historical approach to Vermeer to date, the annotated color catalogue of Vermeer's complete paintings reveals a master whose rare sensibility may be described but not explained.

Walter Liedtke is Curator of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has written extensively on Dutch painting and the Delft School.

The Young Vermeer

by Edwin Buijsen et al.
The Young Vermeer

This exhibition catalogue, with informative text and fine reproductions, delves into the three paintings from the beginning of Vermeer's artistic career: the Mauritshuis' Diana and her nymphs of c. 1653–1654, the Christ in the house of Martha and Mary (c. 1654–1656) and the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, and The Procuress (1656) from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden.

Available at the Mauritshuis online bookshop:

Vermeer: The Complete Works

by Aurthur K. Wheelock Jr.
Vermeer: The Complete Works

This work showcases Vermeer's oeuvre with very high quality reproduction. Note especially the clarity of two wondrous Vermeer portraits, the Girl with the Pearl Earring and the Girl with the Red Hat; both have been recently cleaned and restored and are presented here with much of the subtle values and luminous color characteristic of the originals. The Little Street shimmers with tincture of bricks and mortar, while View of Delft generates a sense of lapidary majesty. The Lady Reading, The Milkmaid, the Woman in Blue, and the Woman Holding a Balance are simply splendid, as are The Astronomer and The Geographer.

This book is not only a fascinating biography of one of the greatest painters of the seventeenth century but also a social history of the colorful extended family to which he belonged and of the town life of the period. It explores a series of distinct worlds: Delft's Small-Cattle Market, where Vermeer's paternal family settled early in the century; the milieu of shady businessmen in Amsterdam that recruited Vermeer's grandfather to counterfeit coins; the artists, military contractors, and Protestant burghers who frequented the inn of Vermeer's father in Delft's Great Market Square; and the quiet, distinguished "Papists Corner" in which Vermeer, after marrying into a high-born Catholic family, retired to practice his art, while retaining ties with wealthy Protestant patrons. The relationship of Vermeer to his principal patron is one of many original discoveries in the book.

"[With Montias] the past is hard put to hide what were in all truth its secrets. One will read Vermeer and His Milieu several times, as [Montias] has read the archives; he is an indispensable companion for anyone who likes the seventeenth century."
—Lawrence Gowing
The [London] Times Literary Supplement

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder

by Jonathan Janson
Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder

Who would have not wanted to look over one of the shoulders of one of the greatest painting geniuses of Western art?

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulders provides a clear, comprehensible guide for exploring the mysterious relationship between painting technique and artistic expression. It comes directly to grips with the mental and physical machinery of Johannes Vermeer, one of the greatest painting technicians of all times. Contemporarily, it furnishes a view of what went on outside Vermeer's own studio opening the doors to workshop practices of the seventeenth-century Baroque painting studios.

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulders will open up a new vista on the works of the Great Masters allowing the reader to connect more directly to the artists through the language in which their masterpieces are truly written: brush, paint and hand.

Here are only a few of the many intriguing questions which surround the enigmatic work of Vermeer.

  • How did Vermeer and the Old Masters create their masterpieces?
  • Who did Vermeer learn from?
  • How did he plan his paintings?
  • Where did he acquire his materials?
  • Did he use the camera obscura as an aid to his painting?
  • Did he use any secret materials or techniques?
  • Who posed for his paintings?

click here to buy the PAPER BOOK

click here to by the EBOOK

A Study of Vermeer

by Edward A. Snow
A Study of Vermeer

Edward Snow's A Study of Vermeer, first published in 1979 and here presented in an expanded and elaborately revised version, starts from a single premise: that we respond so intensely to Vermeer because his paintings reach so deeply into our lives. Our desire for images, the distances that separate us, the validations we seek from the still world, the traces of ghostliness in our own human presence these, the book proposes, are Vermeer's themes, which he pursues with a realism always in touch with the uncanny. As Snow traces the many counterpoised sensations that make up Vermeer's equanimity, he leads us into a world of nuances and surprise. A Study of Vermeer is passionate and visual in its commitments. Snow works from the conviction that viewing pictures is a reciprocal act symbiotic, consequential, real. His discussions of Vermeer's paintings are conducted in a language of patient observation, and they involve the reader in an experience of deepening relation and ongoing visual discovery. Extremely enlightening.

In this impressive and informative work, the artist's origins and home environment are revealed and his paintings are displayed and discussed within the context of time alongside a history of the influences and repercussions of this master's art.

This lavishly illustrated and beautifully bound edition includes reproductions of all of Vermeer's paintings, many of the works of his contemporaries, and documents relating to his life and city, Delft.

In the hands of an award-winning historian, Vermeer's dazzling paintings become windows that reveal how daily life and thought—from Delft to Beijing—were transformed in the seventeenth century, when the world first became global.

"Vermeer's Hat is a deftly eclectic book, in which Timothy Brook uses details drawn from the great painter's work as a series of entry points to the widest circles of world trade and cultural exchange in the seventeenth century. From the epicenter of Delft, Brook takes his readers on a journey that encompasses Chinese porcelain and beaver pelts, global temperatures and firearms, shipwrecked sailors and their companions, silver mines and Manila galleons. It is a book full of surprising pleasures."- Jonathan Spence, author of The Death of Woman Wang, In Search of Modern China and The Memory Palace of
—Matteo Ricci

Econ Talk: The Library of Economics and Liberty

Click here to access an excellent podcast interview with Mr. Brook by Russ Roberts.

Best remembered for selling a fake Vermeer to Hermann Goering during the Second World War, Han van Meegeren never admitted to creating any fakes dating from before 1937—but there have always been rumors suggesting that his career actually began much earlier than that. Drawing upon three years of archival research conducted in five nations and interviews with the descendants of Van Meegeren's partners in crime, Jonathan Lopez reveals that Van Meegeren worked virtually his entire adult life turning out bogus old masters for a ring of art-world intriguers operating out of London and Berlin. Major dealers like Sir Joseph Duveen were stung by these forgeries, as was the great Pittsburgh banker Andrew Mellon, who bought two of Van Meegeren's fake Vermeers during the 1920s. As Koen Kleijn of De Groene Amsterdammer has remarked, "The Man Who Made Vermeers shatters the popular image of Han van Meegeren as a lone gunman or picaresque rogue. Jonathan Lopez reveals the master forger as an arch-opportunist, a cunning liar, and a fervent sympathizer of the fascist cause from as early as 1928. Deftly reconstructing an insidious network of illicit trade in the art market's underworld, Lopez allows few reputations to emerge unscathed in this gripping and delicious book."

Click here for a slide show of all the images from the book.

Click here for an extract containing the introduction and first chapter.

About the Author

JONATHAN LOPEZ's writings on art and history appear frequently in Apollo: The International Magazine of Art and Antiques, published in London. The Man Who Made Vermeers grew out of an article that originally appeared in Dutch in De Groene Amsterdammer. Lopez lives with his wife, an art historian and critic, in Manhattan

Vermeer: Die Malkunst

(Paperback: in German with English translations of all essays.)
Vermeer: Die Malkunst

The sumptuous Kunsthistorisches Museum catalogue of The Art of Painting exhibition at the Vienna Kunsthistorisches online presents extraordinarily fine illustrations and excellent essays.

Aurthur K. Wheelock Jr. - "The Art of Painting"

Sabine Pénot - "Johannes Vermeer's The Art of Painting. A Picture Marked by Light, Questions on Pictorial Invention""

Roswitha Juffinger, Christoph Brandhuber - "The Unrecognized Masterpiece. Vermeer's Art of Painting: The Story of its Provenance"

Günther Schilder - "Visscher's Wall Map of the Seventeen Provinces (1636) and Its Counterpart in Vermeer's Art of Painting"

Katia Schmidt-von Ledeuber - "Remarks on the Textiles in Vermeer's The Art of Painting: Tapestry and Slashed Doublet"

Eva Mongi-Vollmer - "Rediscovering Vermeer Art of Painting in the 19th Century"

Roland Prügel - "Reflexsive Appropriations, Critical Transformation: Paraphrases of Vermeer's The Art of Painting in the 20th and 21st Centuries"

Beatrix Kriller-Erdrich - "A to V: Arthur Strasser and Johannes Vermeer in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, On the Reception of a Pictorial Motif"

Robert Wald - "The Art of Painting. Observations on Approach and Technique"

Elke Oberthaler, Sabine Stanek, Jaap J. Boon, Martha Griesser - "The Art of Painting by Johannes Vermeer. History of Treatments and Observations on the Present Condition"

Jaap J. Boon, Elke Oberthaler - "Mechanical Weakness and Chemical Reactivity Observed in the Paint Structure and Surface of The Art of Painting by Vermeer"

Click here to purchase at the Kunsthistorisches Museum bookshop.


by Gilles Aillau. Albert Blankert and John Michael Montias

Vermeer could not have anticipated that The Girl with a Pearl Earring would make him a pop culture icon. This oversized art book paints a wide-ranging critical and historical portrait. Vermeer completed only 30-some paintings, which are beautifully reproduced in plates that celebrate every facet of these marvelous works. Other illustrations develop a rich context for the paintings, complementing three notable essays (following a brief introduction by the late French artist Aillaud). Blankert, a Vermeer expert at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, serves as eloquent docent in two essays, plus a catalogue that documents provenance to the present day. Montias, an expert in seventeenth-century Dutch politics and economics who died in 2005, combs the scarce records of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Delft to conjure Vermeer's environment, drawing on primary documents—from marriage certificates to house inventories listing objects that often appear in paintings (also listed in a full appendix). Unlike many, neither Blankert nor Montias see Vermeer as a neglected genius: he did well enough in his lifetime—or would have, if he hadn't had so many children and nefarious relatives. But as they do show, the artist's star rose through the eighteenth century, and the scholars, updating their 1978 British edition of this work, bring the story up to the present. 164 color and 35 b&w illus.

Vermeer and the Art of Painting

by Aurthur K. Wheelock Jr.
Vermeer and the Art of Painting

The exquisite paintings of Jan Vermeer, with their luminous colors and gradations of reflected light, are admired by art lovers everywhere. This lovely book examines the creative process and technical means by which the great seventeenth-century Dutch painter achieved his remarkable pictorial effects.

As riveting as a World War II thriller, The Forger's Spell is the true story of Johannes Vermeer and the small-time Dutch painter who dared to impersonate him centuries later. The con man's mark was Hermann Goering, one of the most reviled leaders of Nazi Germany and a fanatic collector of art.

It was an almost perfect crime. For seven years a no-account painter named Han van Meegeren managed to pass off his paintings as those of one of the most beloved and admired artists who ever lived. But, as Edward Dolnick reveals, the reason for the forger's success was not his artistic skill. Van Meegeren was a mediocre artist. His true genius lay in psychological manipulation, and he came within inches of fooling both the Nazis and the world. Instead, he landed in an Amsterdam court on trial for his life.

Vermeer and the Dutch Interior

by Alejandro Vergara and Mariët Westermann
Vermeer and the Dutch Interior

Vermeer and the Dutch Interior was a major loan exhibition organised by the Museo Nacional del Prado, Spain's premier museum. It brings together nine works by the celebrated artist Johannes Vermeer, whose small output of only 35 known paintings is dispersed in various collections in Europe and America. Amongst the paintings on loan to the Prado is Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window from the Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden, a painting that has not travelled since 1984. The exhibition comprises 41 paintings, including six by Gerrit ter Borch, six by Pieter de Hooch and seven by Gabriël Metsu, all contemporaries of Vermeer. Madrid will be the only venue for this enlightening exhibition.

Vermeer's Family Secrets

by Benjam Binstock
Vermeer's Family Secrets

Book Description

Johannes Vermeer, one of the greatest Dutch painters and for some the single greatest painter of all, produced a remarkably small corpus of work. InVermeer's Family Secrets, Benjamin Binstock revolutionizes how we think about Vermeer's work and life. Vermeer, "the Sphinx of Delft," is famously a mystery in art: despite the common claim that little is known of his biography, there is in fact an abundance of fascinating information about Vermeer's life that Binstock brings to bear on Vermeer's art for the first time; he also offers new interpretations of several key documents pertaining to Vermeer that have been misunderstood. Lavishly illustrated with more than 180 black and white images and more than sixty color plates, the book also includes a remarkable color gatefold spread that presents the entirety of Vermeer's oeuvre arranged in chronological order in 1/20 scale, demonstrating his gradual formal and conceptual development. No book on Vermeer has ever done this kind of visual comparison of his complete output. Like Poe's purloined letter, Vermeer's secrets are sometimes out in the open where everyone can see them. Benjamin Binstock shows us where to look. Piecing together evidence, the tools of art history, and his own intuitive skills, he gives us for the first time a history of Vermeer's work in light of Vermeer's life.

On almost every page of Vermeer's Family Secrets, there is a perception or an adjustment that rethinks what we know about Vermeer, his oeuvre, Dutch painting, and Western Art. Perhaps the most arresting revelation of Vermeer's Family Secrets is the final one: In response to inconsistencies in technique, materials, and artistic level, Binstock posits that several of the paintings accepted as canonical works by Vermeer, are in fact not by Vermeer at all but by his eldest daughter, Maria. How he argues this is one of the book's many pleasures.

An artifact is a fragment of world alteration. In an effort to change the way people view works of art, Ivan Gaskell—curator and lecturer at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard—opens up a discussion of one seventeenth-century painting by Vermeer, suggesting how art conveys complex ideas via purely visual, non-linguistic means. He also describes the interface between fine art and photographic reproductions, the relationship between art and museums and proposes that museums serve a therapeutic function.

Vermeer and the Delft School

by Walter Liedtke, et al.
Vermeer and the Delft School

This rich and rewarding volume accompanies a wide-ranging exhibition, which opened to deserved acclaim at New York's Metropolitan Museum and was also on view at the National Gallery in London, it evokes the artistic life of Delft from 1200 to 1700 and the rich history of the town's influence on Dutch culture. This volume is the most exhaustive study to date of the School of Delft and an extraordinary study of Vermeer's work as well.

Vermeer: A View of Delft

by Anthony Bailey
Vermeer: A View of Delft

In Vermeer: A View of Delft, Anthony Bailey presents an intriguing portrait of Vermeer's life and character, long lost in history. Bailey re-creates the atmosphere of the times, introduces Vermeer's colleagues, portrays his domestic life in vibrant detail; he also sheds light on the science and artistry behind the glorious, almost mystical, paintings. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Vermeer will stand as the classic work on Vermeer for years to come.

Johannes Vermeer

by Arthur K. Wheelock, Ben Broos and Albert Blankert
Johannes Vermeer

A lavishly illustrated exhibition catalogue dedicated to Vermeer and held at the National Gallery, Washington D.C. and the Mauritshuis, The Hague in 1995. Up to date analysis of the technique, artistry, and history of the painter's work. Contains many original insights and recent discoveries regarding his pictorial technique and use of one point perspective.

Vermeer's use of the camera obscura, a forerunner of the modern camera, had been speculated since the nineteenth century. Steadman's book provides further proof of its use meticulously reconstructing Vermeer's studio and its furnishing. Fascinating and wonderfully illustrated.

Vermeer in Mauritshuis

by Epco Runia & Peter Van Der Ploeg
Vermeer in Mauritshuis

The Mauritshuis has recently published a brand new introductory catalogue on Johannes Vermeer. This kind of publication, a handy volume, is of great use even in the Age of Internet. It is loaded full with crisp images of many Vermeer's paintings and numerous details and a host of relative documents and work of other artists. The text is expertly written and extremely informative. Especially valuable are the large reproductions of the three Vermeer's in the Mauritshuis collection: Girl with a Pearl Earring, View of Delft and Diana and her Companions. A fascinating state-of-the-art production.

The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer offers a systematic overview of the artist's life and work that will be useful to specialists, students, and the general public. Its eleven essays include studies of the artist's development and approach to painting, women as a subject in Vermeer's work, the role of Catholicism in Vermeer's life and art, and the artist's reputation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, among other topics. Collectively, these essays provide a balanced and enlightening examination of many different aspects of Vermeer's art.

In His Milieu: Essays on Netherlandish Art in Memory of John Michael Montias

edited by Amy Golahny, Mia Mochizuki and Lisa

In His Milieu: Essays on Netherlandish Art in Memory of John Michael Montias

Collected in memory of the Vermeer scholar and Yale economist J. Michael Montias, these essays take into account the latest trends in the field and provide new data on a wide range of topics in Netherlandish art. Themes include the reception of paintings and architecture; art collecting as interpreted through inventories and other documents that reveal modes of display; relationships between patrons and painters; recently found or attributed works of art; artists as teachers; and the art market. Taken together, these focused studies offer fresh perspectives on the historical appreciation and evaluation of art. Drawing upon J.M. Montias' contribution to art history, these 32 essays present new analyses, attributions, and documents on Netherlandish art and material culture – including the work of Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, van Eyck and others—by internationally known scholars of art history and the economics of art.

Of particular interest are those essays directly related to Vermeer:

1. Albert Blankert, "The Case of Han van Meegeren's Fake Vermeer 'Supper at Erasmus' Reconsidered"

2. Yoriko Kobayashi-Sato, "Vermer and the Use of Perspective"

3. Herman Roodenburg, "Visiting Vermeer: Performing Civility"


Vermeer (German only)
by Nils von Büttner

Jan Vermeer van Delft had a formative influence over our ideas of the Dutch Golden Age. Yet during his lifetime there were few indications of his later fame. His incomparable genre scenes came to typify his work. Nils Büttner's concise and lively introduction traces the painter's life, presents his work in its historical and social context and explains the pictures' symbolism, still often regarded as mysterious.

On sale at

Johannes Vermeer: Bei der Kupplerin

Kabinettausstellung anässlich der Restaurierung des Gemäldes (German only)
exhibition catalogue of Vermeer's restored Procuress
Johannes Vermeer: Bei der Kupplerin

exhibition catalogue of Vermeer's restored "Procuress"
Staatliche Kunstssammlungen Dresden, Dresden, 2004

This finely and abbundantly illustrated catalogue contains the following essays in German only:

1. "Johannes Vermeer's Procuress, a work of Dutch Caravaggism?" by Uta Neidhart
2. "Johannes Vermeer's Procuress newly observed" by Albert Blankert
3. "The Turkish rug in Johannes Vermeer's 'Procuress'" by Chrisitne Klose
4. " Johannes Vermeer's 'Procuress,' Provenance and subject matter" by Annaliese Mayer-Meintschel
5. "Johannes Vermeer's 'Procuress'- Restoration and Painting Technique Findings" by Marlies Giebe
6. "Vermeers painting technique—a mixed technique. Research into binding agents in the painting 'Procuress'" by Johan Koller, Irene Fiedler and Ursula Baumer
7. " Known and unknown. New research in Vermeer's palette in the 'Procuress'" by Heike Stege. Cornelia Tilenschi and Achim

address inquiries and orders to:
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Postfach 12 05 51
D-01006 Dresden

Telephone: +49 (0)3 51 / 4 91 47 25
Fax: +49 (0)3 51 / 4 91 47 66

Or email directly to:

The range of Vermeer's genius-encompassing scientific and philosophical investigation, pictorial and painterly virtuosity, musical, philosophical, and literary allusions-was enormous. This is but one of the reasons that those who believe Vermeer did not make extensive use of such devices as the camera obscura are not even wrong. Such arguments entirely miss the point of Vermeer's complexity. Robert Huerta's book should inspire an appreciation of Vermeer in the context of the natural science of his time and "more [as he says] in the tradition of a Durer, a Velazquez, or even a Leonardo...." Huerta's bibliography is extensive, his research exhaustive, and his conclusions are always supported with substantial evidence. Even when he conjectures, he does so in an informed way. Note especially the link he makes with Vermeer's Astronomer and Raphael's "Urania, Prime Mover" at the Vatican.
This book will reward those who have both a working knowledge of Vermeer and an appreciation of the history of science as well as an understanding of scientific methodology. It is an exciting addition to literature about Vermeer and builds upon the insights of Gowing and Steadman as those insights have helped to explain Vermeer's expressive "optical way."

This edition takes a fresh look at the innovative role Vermeer played in Dutch art in the seventeenth century. It examines the 4 paintings by Vermeer in the Rijksmuseum's collection, which span his whole career.

This book is a collection of writings on aspects of painting in Delft during the period 1650–1675. Walter Liedtke, highly respected curator and scholar of Dutch and Flemish art, discusses at length the work of four artists: Carel Fabritius, Gerard Houckgeest, Pieter de Hooch, and Johannes Vermeer. Liedtke considers recent interpretations and research on these artists' works, exploring in particular the relationship between style and observation in their paintings. The book begins by examining the question of whether such a community or tradition as the "Delft School" ever existed and by reviewing earlier opinions on the matter. The second chapter is devoted to Fabritius's small townscape A View in Delft, its reconstruction as an illusionistic image originally mounted in a perspective box, and the painting's significance in the narrow and in the broadest sense. In the third chapter, Liedtke focuses on a specialized genre in Delft—views of actual church interiors—and offers another explanation of how naturalistic paintings, even those that carefully record existing sites, inevitably depend upon pictorial precedents. The fourth chapter on De Hooch and the "South Holland" tradition of genre painting prepares the way for the fifth, a look at Vermeer's early work. In the final chapter, the author considers Vermeer's work as a mature artist, one who has completely mastered his means.


by Daniele Arasse

Through a historical analysis of Vermeer's method of production and a close reading of his art, Daniel Arasse explores the originality of this artist in the context of seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Arguing that Vermeer was not a painter in the conventional, commercial sense of his Dutch colleagues, Arasse suggests that his confrontation with painting represented a very personal and ambitious effort to define a new pictorial practice within the classical tradition of his art.

Vermeer And Plato: Painting The Ideal

by Robert H. Huerta
Vermeer And Plato: Painting The Ideal

In a study that sweeps from Classical Antiquity to the seventeenth century, Robert D. Huerta explores the common intellectual threads that link the art of Johannes Vermeer to the philosophy of Plato. Examining the work of luminaries such as Plotinus, Nicholas of Cusa, Saint Augustine, Ficino, Raphael, Keller, Galileo, Descartes, and Hoydens, Huerta argues that the concurrence of idealism and naturalism in Vermeer's art reflects the Dutch master's assimilation of Platonic and classical ideals, concepts that were part of the Renaissance revival of classical thought. Pursuing a Platonic path, Vermeer used his paintings as a visual dialectic, as part of his program to create a physical instantiation of the Ideal. Illustrated. Robert D. Huerta is an independent historian, focusing on the intersection between art and science during the early modern period.*


by Lawrence Gowing

This surely ranks as one of the most profound interpretations of a painter ever written. Gowing reveals to us the mysterious relationship between Vermeer's psychological nature and the creation of his masterpieces. It can be read and re-read many times over. Absolutely essential: a masterpiece in its own right.

Vermeer Studies (Studies in the History of Art, vol 55)

ed. Ivan Gaskell & Micheal Jonker
Vermeer Studies (Studies in the History of Art, vol 55)

More than three centuries after he created them, the exquisite, enigmatic paintings of Johannes Vermeer continue to intrigue. In this volume, twenty-three scholars, conservators, and scientists investigate Vermeer's art and the milieu in which he worked. They offer a wide range of approaches to the Dutch master, including technical studies of his paintings, iconological studies of his imagery, archival studies of his immediate surroundings, and historical studies of the reception of his art. Together, the writings of these contributors provide insight into the current state of understanding of Vermeer's art. The authors focus particular attention on the unique qualities of his paintings and explore the interpretive significance of his subtle formal devices, his use of pictures within pictures, and the physical construction of his works.

Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer

by Peter C. Sutton, Peter C. Sutton, Lisa Vergara and
Ann Jensen Adams
Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer

The catalogue investigates the contextual relationship of the letter theme to such cultural developments as the spread of literacy, the establishment of a reliable and widespread postal delivery system, the rise of an epistolary literature, and the importation and translation of letter writing manuals. From Westerbaen's translation into Dutch of Ovid's Heroides to the multiple French and Dutch editions of Puget de la Serre's Secrétaire à la Mode (the most popular letter writing manual of the seventeenth century), the literature of the period attests to the allure and mystique of letter writing.

There have been several historically based novels, as well as Biographies of noted artists in the last year. A common complaint has often been the lack of illustrations in general, and the very few color plates in particular. Full color plates are extremely expensive, and are often scarce in a work for that reason alone. Major books on an artists works can be extremely expensive, and almost prohibitively so, when what is desired is a companion reference to another book.

The alternative is either very expensive coffee table books, or handfuls of airline tickets to globe trot to the location of the works. The latter is certainly the best, but for just under $10.00, these are much more efficient.

Vermeer (Basic Art)

by Nobert Schneider
Vermeer (Basic Art)

Norbert Schneider has written many books on art and among them is this small volume in which he addresses the paintings of Vermeer. Though the book is short (96 pages) it mirrors the output of the artist. Each painting is reproduced with surprising clarity even though as usually, a few times the color leaves something to be desired-. However, the many fine details are alone worth of praise.

Focusing on life in Vermeer's native city, Delft, the author describes the prosperous Dutch seaport in Vermeer's times, a bustling world of merchants, sea traders, and artists. The result is a fascinating portrait that brings us closer to an understanding of the remarkable artist. With its reproductions of the 35 paintings known to be authentic, the book also functions as a catalogue of the artist's work.


by John Nash

The author has fascinating details to relate and he is lively and impassioned in style. He writes about Vermeer's "suspended psychological moment"." John Nash divides the paintings into Music, Letters, showing the works of master painters of Delft of the time and how they treat similar subjects. Good reproductions and finely fopcused writings.

Vermeer: Reception and Interpretation

by Christiane Hertel
Vermeer: Reception and Interpretation

The canonicity of Jan Vermeer's oeuvre was originally established within the general framework of modernist aesthetics. The specific concepts guiding critics were developed in the context of a reappraisal of Dutch painting in the 19th century, particularly in Germany and France. In this study, Christiane Hertel interprets the suppositions underlying Vermeer's canonization and also addresses the critical problem of locating his paintings in history.

Vermeer and the Invention of Seeing

by Bryan Jay Wolf
Vermeer and the Invention of Seeing

This book begins with a single premise: that Vermeer painted images not only of extraordinary beauty, but of extraordinary strangeness. To understand that strangeness, Bryan Jay Wolf turns to the history of early modernism and to ways of seeing that first developed in the seventeenth century. In a series of provocative readings, Wolf presents Vermeer in bracing new ways, arguing for the painter's immersion in—rather than withdrawal from—the intellectual concerns of his day. The result is a Vermeer we have not seen before: a painter whose serene spaces and calm subjects incorporate within themselves, however obliquely, the world's troubles.

Stone investigates such diverse topics as seventeenth-century advances in optics and the attendant explosion of data about the natural world; the proliferation of material goods in prosperous Dutch homes; and the compelling realism of Golden Age paintings. Illustrated with sixteen pages of color reproductions of Dutch masterworks, as well as five black-and-white images, Tables of Knowledge will interest intellectual and cultural historians of the early modern period, art historians, and historians and philosophers of science.

"In a bold and surprising move, this book pairs up the French philosopher and scientist Descartes with the Dutch artist Vermeer, looking at each through the lens of the other. This seemingly odd couple results in a fascinating new exploration of the intersections between science and art."
Sara Melzer, UCLA

Vermeer and Painting in Delft

by Axel Ruger
Vermeer and Painting in Delft

In this accessible introduction to the key Delft artists, Axel Rüger places Vermeer's masterpieces within their historical and artistic context. This book, accompanying a major loan exhibition at the National Gallery, London, reveals how artistic and cultural developments of the early seventeenth century paved the way for the flowering of art in the city, culminating in the master works of the 1650s and 1660s. Investigating the artistic production of the city genre by genre, the author builds a picture of the so-called Delft School and its influences.

The Scholarly World of Vermeer

by K. van Berkel, W.J. Wadum, K. Zandvliet
he Scholarly World of Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer had a keen intellectual mind. Looking at his paintings The Geographer and The Astronomer, we are struck by the detailed rendering of the scientific world. We see figures poring over their work in rooms filled with land and sea charts, books, globes and measuring instruments. Vermeer was particularly interested in maps.

Another characteristic feature of his oeuvre and one which bears out his interest in science and scholarship is his use of perspective. He determined the place of the horizon and vanishing point with the utmost precision, resorting to such recent devices as the camera obscura, employing geodetic techniques and fixing the vanishing point with pins and thread. This all goes to show that in an age of discoveries Johannes Vermeer was a child of his time.