About the Artist
The life and art of Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) are closely associated with the city of Delft. He was born in Delft and lived there until his death. His father, Reynier Vermeer, was a silk weaver who produced "caffa," a fine satin fabric, but in 1631 Reynier also registered in the Saint Luke's Guild in Delft as a Master Art Dealer. By 1641 Reynier was sufficiently prosperous to purchase a large house, the "Mechelen," which contained an inn on the market square in Delft where he probably also sold paintings. When Reynier died in 1652 Johannes apparently inherited his father's business. By that time he must have already decided on a career as a painter.
Vermeer became a master in the Saint Luke's Guild on December 29, 1653. His aspiration at that time seems to have been a history 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.
This print of Johannes Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance (1664) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging.
Woman Holding a Balance is a superb example of Vermeer's exquisite sense of stability and rhythm. A woman dressed in a blue jacket with fur trim stands serenely at a table in a corner of a room. The scales in her right hand are at equilibrium, suggestive of her inner state of mind. A large painting of the Last Judgment, framed in black, hangs on the back wall of the room. A shimmering blue cloth, open boxes, two strands of pearls, and a gold chain lie on the sturdy table. Soft light comes in through the window and illuminates the scene. The woman is so pensive that the viewer almost hesitates to intrude on her quiet moment of contemplation.
- 8.38 x 7.19 inches (print), 11 x 14 inches (matted)
- Matted, ready to frame
- Archival, premium matte paper (acid-free, lignin-free)
- Archival pigment inks