was born in Delft in 1632 and lived there until
his death in 1675. Vermeer begani his career
as a historical painter, for his first works
were large scale mythological and religious
paintings. Shortly thereafter he began to paint
the genre scenes, landscapes, and allegories
for which he has become so renowned. While Vermeer's
subject matter changed in the mid-1650s, he
nevertheless continued to imbue his later works
with the quiet, intimate moods he preferred
in his early history paintings.
Although very little is known about relationships
with other painters who might have influenced
the thematic and stylistic direction of his
art, Vermeer apparently knew Gerard ter Borch
II, with whom he co-signed a document in 1653.
Another artist who may well have had an impact
on his work during the 1650s was Pieter de Hooch,
an artist who painted comparable scenes in Delft
during that period. Vermeer remained a respected
artist in Delft throughout the rest of his life.
He was named hoofdman of the Delft St. Luke's
Guild in 1662, 1663, 1670, and 1671.