Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (baptized in Delft as Joannis on October 31, 1632, and buried in the same city under the name Jan on December 16, 1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter who specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death.
Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colours, sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for cornflower blue and yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.
After having been forgotten, but not by some connoisseurs, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Thoré Bürger, who published an essay attributing sixty-six pictures to him, (although only thirty-five paintings are firmly attributed to him today). Since that time Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.