Google Doodle celebrates once-forgotten Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer


Picked is effective by Johannes Vermeer, learn of the use of light-weight and shadow — with slight alterations, a la Google.


Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter of the Baroque time period most renowned for capturing in beautiful detail the tranquil scenes of daily daily life in domestic inside settings. He is especially renowned for the sharp contrasts established by his fragile use of light-weight and shadow, as properly as his standpoint-correct paintings.

While only 35 of his paintings endure, Vermeer is viewed as a person of the greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age. To rejoice his talent, Google focused a Doodle to Vermeer on Friday — the 26th anniversary of an exhibition opening at the Countrywide Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, that highlighted 21 of his functions.

He is renowned right now, but that wasn’t normally the circumstance. Vermeer was born in Delft, Holland, in 1632, but tiny is recognized about his life, and none of his individual writings has at any time been found. Despite reasonable accomplishment as a painter in the course of his life time, Vermeer died at age 43 and left his wife in personal debt. Just after that, Vermeer was mostly neglected by the artwork planet for approximately two hundreds of years right before he was rediscovered in the late 19th century.

The one function he’s probably finest acknowledged for is the 1665 oil painting Woman with a Pearl Earring, which in the latest a long time has produced various literary and cinematic appearances, including a 1999 historical novel of the similar title that advised a fictional tale about the painting’s generation.

Friday’s Doodle depicts three of Vermeer’s other noteworthy paintings as if on show aspect by facet in a museum. On the remaining is The Art of Painting (also regarded as The Allegory of Portray), an oil on canvas developed in between 1666 and 1668 that reveals an artist painting a female posing for a portrait in his studio.

In the heart is Girl Writing a Letter With her Maid, a 1670-1671 generation that reveals a woman sitting down at a table composing a letter though her maid stands at the rear of her, gazing out a window as she waits for the letter to be completed.

Lastly, on the proper, is Girl Examining a Letter at an Open Window, a portray of considerable intrigue completed between 1657 and 1659. The portray was misattributed to other artists for quite a few many years right before Vermeer was determined as the artist in 1880.

Decades just after Vermeer’s dying, the painting was altered to obscure an picture of a massive cupid hanging on the wall powering the female. Cupid’s overpainted impression was initially identified by X-ray in 1979, and while Google’s model demonstrates the altered edition, the god of appreciate resurfaced in the portray in 2021 immediately after a three-calendar year restoration hard work. With Cupid again seeing in excess of the woman, it is suggested a romance exists with the author of the letter.

If you appear intently, you will see that Google has inserted two letters from its title into each individual of Vermeer’s paintings.

You can discover much more of Vermeer’s artwork via Google’s Arts and Tradition task.

Kenneth Proto

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