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The Geographer c. 1668

Jan Vermeer Van Delft’s enigmatic painting The Geographer, signed and dated 1669 is most likely a companion piece to the artist’s canvas The Astronomer, painted at much the same time. Sharing the unique quality of being the only figurative reproductions of male figures in Vermeer’s entire oeuvre that represent the following of scholarly activities, and in the knowledge that the works remained together until 1778, one must surely take them as a pair. Most likely commissioned by an individual interested in such pursuits, Vermeer has carefully articulated the idiosyncrasies of the scientific instruments. During Vermeer’s lifetime there was emerging interest, primarily spawned by Descartes’ Rationalism, in exploring the mysteries of the universe for the sake of inquisitiveness.

Having only produced forty paintings, Vermeer’s works are filled with an enigmatic originality, balance and ambiguity that is surely heightened by the sparseness of detail that surrounds his life and works. His creative output was probably restricted by his meagre earnings and need to support his fifteen children. Held in high esteem by his fellow artists, Vermeer’s genre portraits of domestic interiors and middle class life have allowed the artist to make the transition into the modern world as a craftsman of poignancy and resonance. Now recognized as a master of the Dutch Golden Age, the startling presence of his small body of work is arguably heightened by the fact that almost all of his works were painted in two rooms in his house in Delft, featuring the same furniture, decorations, and sitters. The Geographer appears to feature the same model as was used for his contemporaneous painting, The Astronomer. This moving reproduction of the embryonic craft of geography is a remarkable document from a world at the cusp of seismic shifts in understanding.

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The Geographer c. 1668 Jan Vermeer Van Delft

Item Number: 10300023 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $299.99
you SAVE 55% Compared to Local Galleries $539.98
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