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Vermeer's Family Tree

The grandparents of Catharina Bolnes, Johannes Vermeer's wife The only surviving image of a member of Vermeer's extended family is the above project for a stained glass window in Saint-Janskerk, Gouda which represents the grand parents of Vermeer's wife, Catharina Bolnes.

Although only a scant few archival records have survived regarding Vermeer's life and art, in recent years historians have nonetheless deduced a relatively clear picture of both his life and artistic stature. This picture has been painted by blending those precious few archival documents with our extensive knowledge of seventeenth-century Dutch social and artistic history.

The first notice we have of Vermeer's family is in 1598 when Vermeer's grandfather, the tailor Jan Reyersz., cashed a debt obligation, and the last is when his daughter Aleydis Vermeer died in The Hague in 1749.

However, a great part of the progress made in recent years is owed to John Michael Montias,John Michael Montias, Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989),. who has patiently pieced together all existing legal depositions, wills, deeds, warrants, inventories, promissory notes, and other official documents into a coherent whole. Montias himself uncovered some extremely important documents. Their paper trail extends back two generations to Vermeer's maternal grandfather and continues into the seventeenth century beyond Vermeer's death. Montias' Vermeer and His Milieu: A Web of Social History formed the basis on which further study must be elaborated. It makes for excellent reading and is highly recommended for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of Vermeer or Dutch seventeenth-century painting.

In 2023, Gregor Weber published Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light and Reflection,Gregor J.M. Weber, Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light and Reflection (Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2023),. which after Montias' seminal volume, is the most significant contribution to understanding of Jesuit influence on Vermeer, offering the most comprehensive examination to date of this significant topic. He introduces Vermeer’s Catholic household, particularly focusing on his mother-in-law, Maria Thins, and the Catholic neighborhood in Delft, alongside the circumstances surrounding Vermeer's marriage to Catharina Bolnes. Wsacted and illuminating discussion ensues about the painter’s Woman Holding a Balance, with its striking combination of a woman holding weigh scales before a painting of the Last Judgment. Weber situates the work within the broader framework of Jesuit teaching and makes many novel and convincing observations here concerning the significance of the Last Judgment in Southern Netherlandish Catholicism, the implications of Jesuit texts for the conspicuous darkening of the space in this picture."Wayne Franits, review of Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light and Reflection, by Gregor J. M. Weber (Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2023), 168 pp., 121 col., 1 b&w ills., ISBN 978-9462087583, Book Review (March 2023) https://hnanews.org/hnar/reviews/johannes-vermeer-faith-light-and-reflection/.

Weber also relates Vermeer’s subject matter to Jesuit devotional literature, despite some of Vermeer’s patrons having differing religious beliefs.

The family tree illustrated below and all the information provided about each family member were drawn entirely from Montias' volume mentioned above.

Roll your mouse over names of interest to access the pop-up information box.

Cortiaensz. Claes Goris 1) Neeltge Jan Reyersz. Corstiaen Annitgen Goverts Beatrix Gerrits 2) Balthasar Claes Gerrits Vouck (?) Beatrix van Buy Ariaentge Dircksdr. van der Zeijl Dirck Claesz. van der Minne Trijntge Cornelis Adriaentge Claes van der Minne Jan Thonisz. Back Jan Michielsz. van der Beck Tanneken Balthus (?) Reynier Balthens Susanna Heyndrixdr. Digna Baltens Ryenier Jansz. Vos (alias Vermeer) Anthony Jansz. Vermeer Tryntje Isbrantsdr. Heymen van der Hoeve Maertge Jans Jan Heymensz. van der Hoeve Gysbrecht van der Hoeve Abigail van Brussel 2) Anthony Gerritsz. 1) van der Wiel Gertruy Vermeer Johannes Vermeer Catharina Bolnes Johannes Cramer Maria Vermeer Elizabeth Vermeer Cornelia Vermeer Aleydis Vermeer Beatrix Vermeer Johan Christo- phorus Hopperus Johannes Vermeer Maria Anna Frank Gertruy Vermeer Franciscus Vermeer Maria de Wee Catharina Vermeer Ignatius Vermeer a child Elizabeth Catharina Hopperus Johannes Antonius Vermeer Maeyken Gijsberts Heymen van der Hoeve c. 1515 - 1566 1597 d. 1618 d. 1612 c. 1599 - 1672 1620 d. 1621 1582 - 1675 c. 1585 - c. 1656 c. 1573 - c. 1630 1596? 1615 c. 1600 - 1653 d. 1634 d. after 1654 1647 1620 - 1670 c. 1620 -1693 1670 c. 1595 - c. 1519 -1652 d. before 1692 c. 1594 - 1661 c. 1588 - 1660 d. 1651 c. 1654 - d. after 1713 before 1713 (?) d. 1749 b. c. 1663 1689 - after 1713 d. a. 1713 c. 1664- after 1708 d. after 1713 1672- d. after 1713 1674 - 1678 1632 - 1675 c. 1631 -1688 1653 c. 1657 - d. 1597 c. 1567 -1627 1670 = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 2) = = = = 1) = = 3) = = 1) = = 2) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


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