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He 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.













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