How Old Are The Golden Girl Characters Supposed To Be Johannes Vermeer – Paintings That Celebrate Ordinary Life

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Johannes Vermeer – Paintings That Celebrate Ordinary Life

Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter who is recognized as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

The Dutch Golden Age was a unique period in the history of the Netherlands spanning the era from 1581 to 1672, when its political, economic and cultural stature was among the most powerful and influential in the world.

Dutch painting boasts some of the most important painters in history including Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525-1569), Jan Steen (1626-1679), Hieronymus Bosch (1450- 1516) and Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890). Each Dutch master had his own specialty that showcased his unique skill and attention to detail.

Images of everyday life

Johannes Vermeer is credited with thirty-four paintings depicting daily middle-class life in the 17th century, with almost all of his paintings located in two small rooms in his house in Delft, depicting the same settings and often depicting the same people.

At that time, the most prestigious cultural works emphasized aristocratic, military and religious lives, such as the great Renaissance artists who created magnificent images of saints, angels and kings, queens and aristocrats who were celebrated on the most beautiful canvases.

However, Johannes Vermeer wanted to show ordinary life and everyday activities are heroic in their own unique way, such as keeping the house in order, sweeping the yard, babysitting, sewing or the maid – preparing lunch. These works are notable for their calm, timeless sense of dignity.

Vermeer wanted to show through his paintings:

*a life rich in character

*Ordinary life is worth celebrating.

These are the gifts of life that are rewarded and blessed by God.

Famous paintings by Johannes Vermeer

Little Street (1657–1658)

The painting “The Little Street” depicts a quiet street scene in Vermeer’s hometown of Delft (famous for Delft Pottery and ceramic products). It shows a woman sewing, children playing, and a woman employed in the yard.

It highlights typical life in Delft during the Dutch Golden Age and is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

A Little Street is one of only three paintings of views of Delft by Vermeer, the others being View of Delft and the now lost House Standing in Delft.

This simple street scene became one of the greatest paintings in the world.

The Lacemaker (1669-70)

Exhibited at the Louvre in Paris.

The painting depicts a peaceful setting of a young woman dressed in a yellow scarf and focused on her craftwork with a lace bobbin and a pin in hand.

Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665)

Known as the Mona Lisa of the North, it has been on display at the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902 and is one of Vermeer’s most iconic paintings. The Dutch public considers it the most beautiful painting in the Netherlands.

The Milkmaid (1654–1658)

The exact year of creation of the Milk Maid painting is estimated by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands to be 1658.

Sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, it is a painting depicting a domestic servant pouring milk into a basin. The counter is strewn with bread, the crusts and shining forehead of the maid highlighted by the sunlight.

View of Delft (1659-1661)

The painting depicts the skyline of Vermeer’s hometown and was painted at a time when cityscapes were not common and buildings moved only slightly to make the city feel less cramped. The painting has been held in the Dutch Royal Cabinet of Pictures at the Mauritshuis in The Hague since its foundation in 1822.

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