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The Geographer by Johannes Vermeer

    The Geographer by Johannes Vermeer

    The Geographer by Johannes Vermeer was created in 1669. The painting is in Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt. The size of the work is 51,6 x 45,4 cm and is made as an oil on canvas.

    The geographer has just been measuring distances on a map with his compass; now, he pauses for thought. The globe and the map on the wall represent the state of the art of cartography, which the Netherlands pioneered. The former features Europe’s coastlines, the latter the Indian Ocean, an important body of water for the country’s maritime-trade-based economy. (Find more in Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt)

    About the Artist: Dutch Baroque Period painter Johannes Vermeer specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. It is unclear where and with whom Vermeer apprenticed as a painter. There is some speculation that Carel Fabritius may have been his teacher. On 29 December 1653, Vermeer became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke, a trade association for painters. The guild’s records make clear that Vermeer did not pay the usual admission fee. It was a year of plague, war, and economic crisis; Vermeer was not alone in experiencing difficult financial circumstances… Read more

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