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“The Little Street” by Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer - Gezicht op huizen in Delft, bekend als 'Het straatje' - Google Art Project

View of Houses in Delft, known as ‘The Little Street’ by Johannes Vermeer

View of Houses in Delft, known as ‘The Little Street’ by Johannes Vermeer depicts a quiet street, with four people conduction normal tasks in everyday life in a Dutch town. It is one of only three Vermeer paintings of views of Delft, and it captures a view that Vermeer knew well. The house on the right in this painting belonged to Vermeer’s aunt, and Vermeer’s mother and sister also lived on the same canal, diagonally opposite.

The composition of straight lines and the triangle of the houses gives the painting a vibrancy and reflects reality. The walls, stones and brickwork are painted in a thick colour of limited pigments which provides a solid and concrete aspect to the painting. This painting is a relatively small picture and is signed on the left-hand corner below the window “I V MEER”.

Johannes Vermeer is one of Netherlands’ most prominent Dutch painters. He painted relatively few paintings, most of which had common attributes such as the use of yellow and blue tones, the depiction of women and the depiction of domestic settings. Vermeer offered glimpses into the lives of Holland’s cultured citizens. Although little is known about Vermeer’s life, historians do know of his baptism and life in Delft where he was raised by a craftsman father and married a Catholic girl by the name of Catherina Bolnes.

Reflections

The Little Street

  • Title:                  View of Houses in Delft, known as ‘The Little Street’
  • Dutch:               Gezicht op huizen in Delft, bekend als ‘Het straatje’
  • Artist:                Johannes Vermeer
  • Year:                  1658
  • Type:                 Oil on canvas
  • Period:              Dutch Golden Age
  • Dimensions:    H: 54.3 cm (21.3 in); W: 44 cm (17.3 in)
  • Museum:          Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Johannes Vermeer

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“Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.” Leonardo da Vinci

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Photo Credit: 1) Johannes Vermeer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons