Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialised in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. During his lifetime, he was a moderately successful provincial genre painter, recognised in Delft and The Hague. He worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. Nonetheless, he produced relatively few paintings and evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death.
The Art of Painting is exceptional within the artist's oeuvre, both in its allegorical subject and for being one of the largest of all his paintings. We do not know what motivated Vermeer to produce it, but his family's efforts to retain it at a period of economic difficulty indicate that it was a picture of which the artist and his descendants were particularly proud.
Few paintings in the entire history of art seem as perfect as this one. Vermeer's extraordinary technical mastery, the crystal-clear light which illuminates the scene, the purity of the volumes and the unique psychological distancing of the figures are all characteristics of his work that here reach an extraordinary level of refinement.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1064: card size 6" x 6" (150mm x 150mm)