<strong>Startling Life</strong> The astonishing oeuvre of Johannes Vermeer
This book brings together the complete catalog of <strong>Johannes Vermeer</strong> (1632–1675), presenting the calm yet compelling scenes so treasured in galleries across Europe and the United States into <strong>one monograph of utmost reproduction quality</strong>. With <strong>new photography of many works</strong>, Vermeer’s restrained but richly evocative repertoire of domestic actions–ranging from letter writing to music making to preparations in the kitchen–unfolds in generous format. <strong>Numerous details</strong> emphasize the artist’s remarkable ability not only to bear witness to the trends and trimmings of the <strong>Dutch Golden Age</strong> but also to encapsulate an entire story in just one transient gesture, expression, or look.
In his lifetime, Vermeer’s fame barely extended beyond his native Delft and a small circle of patrons. After his death, his name was largely forgotten, with works outside of Holland even misattributed to other artists. It was not until the mid-19th century that Vermeer came to the attention of the international art world, which suddenly looked upon his <strong>narrative minutiae, meticulous textural detail, and majestic planes of light</strong>, and spotted a forgotten master.
Today, Vermeer’s works have inspired a <em>New York Times</em> best seller and a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth not to mention record visitor numbers at art institutions from Amsterdam to Washington, DC; and special crowd-control measures at the Mauritshuis, The Hague, where thousands flock to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic and enchanting <strong><em>Girl with a Pearl Earring</em></strong>, also known as the “Dutch Mona Lisa.”