In the Footsteps of Johannes Vermeer

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

Starting at the Market Square

Johannes Vermeer is one the most famous painters of the world. His work ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ is very well known, and was even the subject of a movie with Scarlett Johansson. The girl was Vermeer’s ‘fantasy girl’: a portrait of girl in exotic clothing, with a large pearl earring. The original painting can be admired in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

But who was Vermeer? The painter was born in 1632 in Delft, a historical town in Holland. Almost all his paintings are apparently set in two smallish rooms in his house in Delft: they show the same furniture and decorations in various arrangements and they often portray the same people, mostly women. Only 34 paintings are attributed to him today. Only in the 19th century, Vermeer’s reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

The famous ‘girl’

Johannes Vermeer was married, and fathered 15 children. In December 1675, Vermeer died after a short illness. He was buried in the Protestant Old Church on 15 December 1675.

During the tour

Vermeer never went abroad, he spent his whole life in Delft, the place where we can follow his footsteps. All important places in his life can be visited during a pleasant city walk. My friend Elizabeth and I followed the ‘Vermeer Audiotour’ (in Dutch, English, German – soon in Spanish and Italian!). For a small fee, this can be downloaded to your own smartphone and then the pleasant voice of Debby Scholten guides you through Vermeer’s life and the places where he lived, worked and died. we had a wonderful time, and the painter and his works really came to life for us!

A screenshot of the audio tour

The tour starts at the market square, and took us to all those special places: along canals where we took a break in the shadow of the many trees, tp the Jesuits church, the Oude Langedijk, where Vermeer lived with this family. Delft is one of these places, that effortlessly takes you back to times long gone. A true delight!

And if you still want to know more about Vermeer, visit the Vermeer Centre (

This is just one of the many places in Delft where you can buy your own pearl earring!

At the end of the tour, we had a delicious iced coffee a the beautiful Beestenmarkt.

Sit back and relax!

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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