Johannes Vermeer is the poetic soul of Dutch art and one of the great vanishing acts in art history. With his death in 1675 and the dispersal of his paintings, Vermeer's artistic and personal identities were virtually eclipsed. But he was rediscovered in the late 19th century and quickly became known as one of the great European masters.
Did you know that: Vermeer paid his rent by giving paintings to his landlord? fewer than 40 paintings are attributed to Vermeer? the formality of Vermeer's images masks a deeper, symbolic meaning? some critics still argue that Vermeer's possible use of camera obscura -- the "first camera" -- makes him more of a copyist than a truly original artist?