I have always been a huge fan of Jan Vermeer’s paintings: without ever having had the benefit of a camera to aid him in his observations of it, he had such a masterful sense of light and its play on people and objects. He painted mostly interior scenes, and was purportedly very slow in producing only a few paintings a year. Only 35 paintings are firmly attributed to him today.
One of my favorite movies is Girl with a Pearl Earring, not so much for the story, but for the cinematography and the beauty of the lighting. Each scene in that movie resembles a Vermeer painting to me.
I was fortunate that I was able to visit
Delft, in the , Vermeer's hometown, some years ago. It’s a wonderfully quaint little town and I found myself wondering what it was there that so impacted Vermeer to create the beautiful images he did. Sadly, when he died fairly young, he left his wife with a large family to support and debts to be paid. She was forced to sell paintings and his tools of the trade to erase those debts. He was hardly known outside of his hometown, and when a diplomat came to visit the town and wanted to see some of Vermeer's work, he was sent to the local baker who owned several pieces of art that had been exchanged for bread for Vermeer's family. Netherlands
“Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.” (-Ralph Waldo Emerson)