“Good artists borrow, great artists steal”

–Pablo Picasso

Johannes Vermeer is known for his precisely condensed paintings depicting scenes of daily life in interior settings. A slow and systematic artist, Vermeer produced relatively few paintings; 34 attributed to him. These works are extraordinary for their purity of light, colour and form, qualities that carry a peaceful, timeless sense of human dignity. Vermeer also painted symbolic scenes.

He utilized the laws of perspective and the placement of individual objects such as chairs, tables, walls, maps, window frames to create a sense of nature’s order. Vermeer’s chosen objects were never actually placed randomly but their positions, sizes, colours, and textures work as a performance of his figures.

The trademark feature of his paintings is their brightness. Technical examinations have demonstrated that he was aware of the optical effects of colour and created luminous effects by applying opaque layers of paint.

Vermeer achieved equality with a camera obscura, a fascinating optical device that operates like a box camera. It allowed light rays to enter a box through a small hole that was fitted with a focusing tube and lens projecting changes of focus, surrounded by blurred background. Vermeer’s presentation of paint reveal extraordinary technical ability and time-consuming care.