Published to accompany the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, this is the first major study on Vermeer’s life and work for many years. Vermeer’s intensely quiet and enigmatic paintings invite the viewer into a private world, often prompting more questions than answers. Who is being portrayed – are his subjects real or imagined? What details do we know of Vermeer’s personal life? How did it affect his painting style, and how did he create such an unrivalled sense of intimacy? For the first time in its history, the Rijksmuseum is staging a dedicated exhibition of this beloved Dutch master, featuring nearly all of Vermeer’s masterpieces in the context of a new investigation into his life and art.

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