The secret of Vermeer’s ’Little Street’ is uncovered automatic translate
AMSTERDAM. An art historian from Holland claims to have found the location of a street depicted on one of the two surviving urban landscapes of Vermeer.
About 350 years ago, Jan Vermeer (Johannes Vermeer) painted on canvas an everyday scene from the life of a small street in Delft of the XVIIth century. Since then, many have asked themselves: Where is this place and did it really exist? The leading art historian from Holland solved the riddle of the artist.
Frans Grijzenhout, professor of art history at the University of Amsterdam, began his search by studying the archives of southern Holland. This allowed him to find the old houses and streets that existed at the time of the artist and survived to this day.
«The answer to the question about what place Vermeer portrayed in the picture» The Little Street «(The Little Street), is of great importance for our understanding of Vermeer as an artist,» says Peter Pieter Roelofs, curator of the 17th-century paintings department Rijksmuseum. The fact that the city landscapes Vermeer - one of the first in the history of art in Holland, and many scientists are inclined to consider the merit of the artist that in addition to home portraits of nobles and commoners, he began to paint the world around him.
Over the years, various researchers have proposed several options for how to find Vermeer’s street. Grisenhout was the first who guessed to study the document of 1667, compiled ten years after the painting was painted.
Officially known as «De legger van het diepen der wateren binnen de stad Delft» (Description of the depth of canals within the city of Delft), he took into account the amount of taxes that the owners of houses had to pay for the work on the arrangement of the canal and the embankment. But apart from financial information, the document also contained information about the width of each house with an accuracy of 15 cm.
Studying this interesting document, Grisenhout found two houses in the eastern region of Delft about 6.3 meters wide with two adjacent passages of 1.2 meters wide. Correlating these data with other archival materials, the scientist came to the conclusion that it was this place that a great artist could depict on his canvas. And he was right.
The old houses, which appear as 40 and 42 along Vlamingstraat Street (Flemish Street), have not survived, only one of the two passes has survived, but today this place is strikingly similar to what its artist saw more than three centuries ago. Further studies showed that the house depicted in the picture of Vermeer on the right belonged to the artist’s widowed aunt, Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, who kept herself and her five children selling the scar. The passage between the houses was known while Penspoort, or Trebovy Gate.
The statement of the State Museum (Rijksmuseum) states: «We also know that Vermeer’s mother and sister lived on the same channel, diagonally from the house depicted. Therefore, it is likely that Jan Vermeer knew this street well and it was closely connected with his personal memories. «
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