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Summary: 10 Little-Known Paintings of Johannes Vermeer — Discover Them
Johannes Vermeer, the beloved 17th-century Dutch painter known for works like Girl with a Pearl Earring, has several hidden gems in his body of work. These include Diana and Her Companions, an early mythological piece, Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, a biblical scene, The Little Street, a charming cityscape, The Love Letter, depicting private moments of women, and The Geographer, which was crafted as a pair with The Astronomer. Vermeer’s work gained international acclaim after his death, and his style and themes influenced many artists in the 19th century.
Johannes Vermeer — More Than a Girl with a Pearl Earring
The famed 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer created works such as Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Milkmaid. These paintings frequently steal the show.
However, the master artist’s body of work, albeit tiny, contains an astounding number of paintings that show a different side of his craft and need to be highlighted. Here are five Vermeer paintings that aren’t commonly mentioned yet are well worth a look.
Diana and Her Companions
Diana with Her Companions, housed in the Hague, is an early work by Vermeer. It depicts a legendary scene and is thought to be one of, if not the, artist’s earliest work, dating from the early 1650s. The front individuals’ peaceful, introspective temperament will become a relative constant in his art.
Christ in the House of Mary and Martha
Vermeer created a few works throughout his lifetime, perhaps 60 of which only 34 survive. Who would have guessed there would be a biblical scenario among them? Housed in the National Gallery of Scotland it is the artist’s largest painting (63 in x 56 in).
The Little Street
We recognize this renowned painter for his vibrant color pallet, intimate interiors, and genre situations that appear to depict an absolutely authentic slice of life. Not so for landscapes and cityscapes, yet The Little Street keeps its allure.
Perhaps because the colors are vibrant and varied, and the human element is energizing despite the mundane actions shown. Vermeer’s career as a landscape painter. Consider the possibilities.
The Love Letter
Vermeer was a fairly successful artist who faded into obscurity after his death. He did not achieve international renown until they rediscovered his work in the nineteenth century.
Many 19th-century artists adopted his style and topics. The Love Letter depicts one of these, private moments of ladies in their homes. Imagine artist’s painting to look like Vermeer 200 years after his death.
Often The Geographer gets second billing to The Astronomer though the two, according to a 2017 conservation project, were literally cut from the same bolt of cloth and may be pendant paintings, made as a pair. The two paintings, along with The Procuress, are the only works that Vermeer signed.
It originally posted this article in February 2018. It was last updated in August 2023