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The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer
The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer

The Astronomer - Johannes Vermeer

This work by Johannes Vermeer has been the subject of numerous studies over the last few centuries concerning the place of science, and more particularly astronomy, in the 17th century landscape. The subject, absorbed in his task, surrounded by a panoply of ordered measuring instruments, leaves no room for the viewer. The artist treats the sole light source of the astronomer, like his master Rembrandt, by using chiaroscuro. This technique consists of a modulation of light on a shadowy background, which suggests nuances of relief and depth.

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L'œuvre en bref

This work by Johannes Vermeer has been the subject of numerous studies over the last few centuries concerning the place of science, and more particularly astronomy, in the 17th century landscape. The subject, absorbed in his task, surrounded by a panoply of ordered measuring instruments, leaves no room for the viewer. The artist treats the sole light source of the astronomer, like his master Rembrandt, by using chiaroscuro. This technique consists of a modulation of light on a shadowy background, which suggests nuances of relief and depth.

The artist

Born in Delft in the Netherlands, Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675) discovered the artistic world through his father who, opportunistic and financially unstable, proclaimed himself an art dealer. Beginning his apprenticeship in painting around 1640, he inherited his father's debts in 1662 and took over his business. No one knows precisely which master took him on as a pupil, his early influences remaining open to speculation. In 1653 he was admitted to the local artists' guild, the Guild of Saint Luke of Delft, as a master, and was elected syndic in 1662. During his lifetime, his fame did not extend beyond the limits of his native town. A baroque painter, he left behind 37 recognized paintings and fell into oblivion until his works were rediscovered in the second half of the 19th century by the Frenchman Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who included some of his paintings in an exhibition.
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