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Arts and Crafts

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

About Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer, also known as Jan or Joannes, was born on October 31st, 1632 in Delft, Netherlands. His father, Reijnier Janszoon and his mother, Digna Baltens, were innkeepers and silk weavers in the city of Delft and they had two children of which Johannes was the only son.

There is not much known about Johannes Vermeer's personal life, but he grew up learning about art, because his father was a member of the St. Luke's Guild and traded and sold paintings.

It is not quite certain who apprenticed Johannes Vermeer, but he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke later on and mainly painted biblical and classical scenes in his early years. Since scenes taken from daily life had his interest as well, he preferred painting those instead and never tried any etching or sketching.

Johannes married Catharine Bolnes in April 1653 and they had fifteen children together. Four children died and only ten of the names of their remaining children are known: Maria, Elisabeth, Cornelia, Aleydis, Beatrix, Johannes, Gertruyd, Franciscus, Catharina and Ignatius.

Both Johannes' wife and children are portrayed in several of his paintings and since Catherine was wealthy and belonged to the upper class, her mother introduced Johannes Vermeer to the wealthiest citizens of Delft.

When Johannes had accumulated debts, due to the fact that he couldn't find patrons outside of Delft to buy his work, and had to repay the state, Catharine tried to save as many of her husband's paintings as she could.

Johannes and Catherine's marriage lasted for 22 years when Johannes was believed to suffer a stroke and died on December 15, 1675.

See also:
Johannes Vermeer's Work
Johannes Vermeer's Economical Impact

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