Is Johannes Vermeer A Renaissance Artist? 

Johannes Vermeer is often considered a Renaissance artist; it can be confusing about precisely what art movement he is part of.

Johannes Vermeer is not a Renaissance artist but is considered a Baroque artist. He is usually referred to as a Dutch Baroque artist and painter in the Dutch Golden Age Era. Johannes Vermeer’s paintings are not flamboyant like many of the Baroque painters but have a great sense of realism.

Johannes Vermeer Is Not A Renaissance Artist

Johannes Vermeer is not a renaissance artist. He was a painter who produced his art after the Renaissance era of art. Vermeer was painting in Holland in the 17th Century; many great Renaissance artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, lived in Italy in the 15th Century.

The Encyclopedia Britannia said this about the definition of Renaissance art:

“Renaissance art,  painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and literature produced during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries in Europe under the combined influences of an increased awareness of nature, a revival of classical learning, and a more individualistic view of man.”

Encyclopedia Britannia

Johannes Vermeer was painting in the mid-17th Century. So he was not considered a Renaissance artist as he was painting after the period of the Renaissance art movement.

Johannes Vermeer Is A Baroque Artist

Johannes Vermeer is a Baroque Artist. Many technically call him a Dutch Baroque Artist. Like many other artists of his period, Johannes Vermeer never studied art in Italy but only studied art in Holland. Because he studied mainly in Holland and lived in Holland, he is usually referred to as a Dutch Baroque artist.

The Encyclopedia Britannia said this about the definition of Baroque Art:

“Baroque art and architecture, the visual arts and building design and construction produced during the era in the history of Western art that roughly coincides with the 17th century.”

Encyclopedia Britannia

Johannes Vermeer lived in the Baroque art era movement; the Baroque art movement was after the Renaissance art movement. Johannes Vermeer was born in October 1632 and died in December 1675, so he lived and died right in the heart of the 17th Century.

Johannes Vermeer, A Dutch Golden Age Painter

Johannes Vermeer is usually referred to as a Dutch Golden Age Painter. The Dutch Golden Age is a period of art that spans most of the 17th Century.

At this time, the new Dutch Republic was a prosperous European nation. The Dutch also led European trade, science, and the arts.

The 17th-century era marked a change in the art center for Europe and, in particular, Northern Europe. This area was the center of the European art world; the Netherlandish provinces make up the modern countries of present-day Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland.

The artistic center’s traditional area was then in Flanders. During this time, there were changes in religion, particularly the once central authority of the Catholic church.

During the Dutch Golden Age, a sharp decline in religious subjects emerged as a new market for secular paintings emerged. Even though Dutch Golden Age painting is usually included in the European Baroque art movement, it also has some of its characteristics that are different than the Baroque movement.

Dutch Golden Age Painters And Realism

Most Dutch Golden age painters lacked the idealization and love of the splendor that many other European artists had. The Dutch Golden Age painters were known to reflect art traditions of realism.

When you look at Johannes Vermeer’s paintings, you can see this sense of realism. His paintings come to life as we view life through his artistic eyes, including some daily tasks people did.

One of the things that makes Vermeer such a great artist in this era is that his paintings were at odds with a lot of the over-flamboyant Baroque art from the age he lived and worked. To many, Vermeer may have seemed like another Dutch Golden Age genre painter, but his artwork shows pure genius.

It took a long time for his genius to be discovered, and many do not know his name or story compared to other artists such as Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, or Michelangelo.

Johannes Vermeer is a painter who died without anyone acknowledging him as a great painter. He was not what many would call successful in his life, as when he died, he left his wife and children destitute.

Yet today, his painting of the Girl With A Pearl Earring is a well-known masterpiece and has even been in popular culture with a fictional version of the girl’s story in a 2003 film.

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Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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Is Johannes Vermeer A Renaissance Artist?