An open door in Delft

I want to share some places I had the chance to see in the Netherlands. Since you have already heard of Van Gogh masterpieces and his tourist museum in Amsterdam, I thought I should post about something less crowded by the multitude.

Even though I have been to many museums and galleries, I don’t usually spend so much time inside. The main reason is that I feel I am staring at art but not learning anything at all. Occasionally I come across special artists who actually catch my eye. The visit is worth it then, and I will write about paintings and artists I discovered this way in following posts. Today I will recommend a center that really helped me to catch on Vermeer life’s work.Girl with a pearl earring

Just a few steps from the New Church in Delft there is the Vermeer Center, a small and lovely building devoted to the Dutch painter. I didn’t see an original canvas, they are all copies. However, I didn’t mind: the second floor had a thorough analysis of love symbols.  I have always been amazed by this painter since high school, but I was only taught about his use of light and costumbrism. Vermeer’s love messages exhibition was revealing to me because I hadn’t paid much attention to them before.

Personally, I find the most interesting in mirrors, used to indicate the hidden while generate space and perspective. Also the paintings that held on the walls add meaning about love. Foodstuffs and beverages carry concepts supporting or contradicting the story. For instance, lemons reveal that there is a false friend, while an apple warns about Adam and Eve’s sin.

I have prepared this example of Glass of wine so that you can see the  meaning of the objects. There is so much else to analyze, but I wanted to keep it simple.

Glass of wine

The way I see it, this place has a real social and educative role, not only connecting the artist with the History of the city but also showing people how his workshop and method were and what the oil paintings actually mean. Tourists will likely think that it lacks the typical halo of the great national museums, but this has nothing to do with them. It is a center focused on collecting, preserving and researching all kinds of testimonies related to the painter, specially highlighting the fact that the city was his birthplace.

If you ever go to Delft, you will probably love to see the wall that is fully covered with Vermeer paintings in blue pottery style where I took the Girl with a pearl earring photograph. It is a narrow street called Bonte Ossteeg, which is next to Market square. If a trip isn’t planned, I do recommend to take a look at the web of the center. I am sure these links will be interesting for you as well:

Vermeer Center in Delft

Overview of paintings: for those interested in traveling, by clicking you will see where to find the original canvases in different countries. Maurithuis is pretty near to Delft!

Vermeer birthplace and neighborhood: for travelers and history lovers.

Johannes Vermeer in Artble: for artists and art historians

Vermeer in Hopper: visual comparison between both artists.

Chiaroscuro in cinematography: a study of light and cinematography along with Caravaggio.

Lighting like Vermeer: for photographers, cinematographers and filmmakers. Video tutorial included to emulate the master of light. For instance, you will learn how to use the open door technique.


View of Delft and Glass of wine from Wikimedia Commons

Information from this article (Spanish)


I hope you have enjoyed this post. Comment below if you have any info about this topic or a link that you think can be useful.

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