Johannes Vermeer used to transform modest domestic interiors into monumental scenes imbued with moral significance. The eye is drawn into the picture by the careful placing of objects and a clearly defined architectural space. Figures pursue tranquil occupations, and the symbolic meaning of the scene is sometimes revealed through a painting within the painting.
Johannes Vermeer enjoyed some local success in Delft, selling his works to a small number of local collectors. However, he was not well-known outside of his community during his lifetime. His works were rediscovered at the end of the 19th century, bringing him to wider attention and claiming his place as of the great Dutch masters.
By 1672, Johannes Vermeer was in financial trouble due in large part to the fact that the Dutch economy had suffered terribly after the country was invaded by France in 1672. He died insolvent in 1675, leaving his wife and many children destitute. Despite a small legacy in terms of works, Johannes Vermeer has became a world-renowned artist, and his works have been hung in many prominent museums around the globe.