Today, 485 years ago, Johannes Vermeer was baptized (1632)

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

1632 -

Johannes Vermeer was a world famous Dutch painter. His most famous painting is ‘Girl with the pearl earring’. We celebrate his christening (October 31, 1632) because nobody knows exactly when he was born. Actually, his dying day is also a mystery. We only know for a fact he was buried December 15th, 1675 in the Oude Kerk (Dutch translation for Old Church) in Delft, his residence.


Oude Kerk (Old Church) Delft Netherlands

Picture source: Shutterstock

15 children
It’s presumed Johannes Vermeer made about 50 paintings. 37 have been preserved, but one of them is doubtful. He mostly painted real people in every day settings. Although he was considered a creditable painter, he was not able to get rich by selling his own art. He and his wife Catharine Bolnes had 15 children together. He had to work hard to make a decent living.

Financial pressures
In 1672 The Netherlands were invaded by France and the English and German also wanted a piece of the small country. People panicked, schools and shops were closed, economy collapsed. Johannes Vermeer wasn’t selling any of his paintings. He was in debt when he died. According to his wife stress of financial pressures was the cause of his death.


Mauritshuis museum The Hague

Picture source: Shutterstock

360 trivial fact
‘Girl with the pearl earring’ may be Vermeer’s best known painting. But remarkably enough, the pearl is probably not even a pearl. According to several experts it’s too big and too shiny. Leaves us guessing what this young woman really wears in her ear!


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