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History of Vermeer

History of Vermeer

by guest blogger, Elmer Prather

My latest Cobble Hill puzzle is a one-thousand-piece titled Vermeer. Before I spend the time putting a puzzle together, I must have a connection to it. My connection to this puzzle is my love for fine art.

collage of Vermeer paintings as a puzzle

As I go about putting a puzzle together, I try to learn as much as I can about the subject matter and the artist. I found that the artist who created these fabulous paintings is Johannes Vermeer. He created paintings that are among the most beloved and revered images in the history of art. Although only about thirty-six of his paintings survive, these rare works are among the greatest treasures in the world’s finest museums.

Vermeer began his work in 1650. His works are remarkable for their purity of light and form, qualities that convey a serene timeless sense of dignity.

Vermeer’s fame was not widespread during his lifetime, largely because his paintings were collected by local patrons and because his output was small.

The paintings that Vermeer created are exquisite portrayals of refined Dutch society-elegant men and women writing letters, playing music, and tending to their daily rituals-present a gentile world that is extraordinarily appealing.

In the puzzle picture, most of the thirty-four paintings are dark and small. As I researched Vermeer’s work, I was able to view each of the paintings displayed in the puzzle online. I enlarged them on my computer screen to see more of the details of each painting and felt like many of his followers that these paintings are some of the best of the best. The paint colors he used to create these masterpieces make these paintings so vibrant.

In 2023 the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam assembled more than twenty-five of Vermeer’s paintings from around the world for a blockbuster exhibition. The enormous interest in the show attested to Vermeer’s popularity and to the firm position he holds in the art history canon centuries after his death.

A recently authenticated painting by Johannes Vermeer sold for almost $40 million at auction, a record for the 17th century Dutch painter and the fifth-highest price ever paid for an Old Master.

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