Jan Vermeer (1632 - 1675) Johannes Vermeer was born in 1632, in the city of Delft in The Netherlands. Johannes Vermeer was known as Vermeer of Delft, after his birthplace. Even though Vermeer was a Protestant in April 1653, at 21, he married a young Catholic woman, Catherine Bones. He had converted to Catholicism shortly before their marriage.

In 1653, after his marriage, he was admitted to the painter's guild, of which he was to be head man for three years. His teacher was Care Fabritius, who had been a pupil of Rembrandt. In 1654 Fabritius was killed at Delft and many of his paintings destroyed after the explosion of the Delft gunpowder magazine. Vermeer's work did not suffer from this.

A poem written about the tragedy called the twenty-two-year old Vermeer "the phoenix" in which Fabritius' talent would live on. The celebrated scenes of everyday life by Vermeer mark the high point of seventeenth century Dutch genre painting. Vermeer was an art dealer and occasional committee member of the Delft painters. Together with such contemporary genre painters as Gerard Ter B orch, Gabriel Me tsu and Pieter De Hoogh, Vermeer was working in tradition influenced by Caravaggio through the Utrecht School and the Painters of Rembrandt's Circle.

The young man's paintings brought equally high prices, but owing to his slow method of work, the size of his family and his habit of buying art himself, he was always on the ragged edge, spending more than he had. Vermeer died in bankruptcy in 1675, leaving his widow and 10 children.