Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), also known as Jan Vermeer, was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. He is considered one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age along with Rembrandt. During his lifetime, he was a moderately successful provincial genre painter, recognized in Delft and The Hague. He produced relatively few paintings, primarily earning his living as an art dealer. He was not wealthy at his death, leaving his wife in debt. Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

Vermeer’s cultural impact is significant. He was a master of chiaroscuro and realism painting and drew inspiration from the Italian Baroque era. His works have been a common theme in literature and films in popular culture since the rediscovery of his works by 20th-century art scholars. His style of painting was characterized by its luminous and elegant quality, its use of light and color, and its depiction of everyday scenes. These cultural movements and artistic styles continue to be celebrated and studied today for their technical mastery, emotional impact, and timeless beauty. His works are among the greatest treasures in the world’s finest museums. His modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death, but he was rediscovered in the 19th century and since then, Vermeer’s reputation has grown enormously.