Exploring the convergence of art and science in the map renderings of one of the world's most beloved artists
Marcel Proust declared View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer (1632-75) "the most beautiful painting in the world." Indeed, viewers have been captivated by Vermeer's extraordinary art since the 19th-century rediscovery of the Dutch painter. Maps, an intricate fusion of art and science, held an important and multifaceted place in the Netherlands in the 17th century and were of particular interest to Vermeer. Of the approximately 34 paintings attributed to the Delft-based artist, wall maps and other cartographic objects are depicted in nine of them, including the renowned Officer and Laughing Girl and his masterpiece, The Art of Painting. With stunning reproductions and incisive text, this book is the most comprehensive study of the artist's depiction of wall maps to date. Drawing on rare surviving examples of the maps and other primary sources, author Rozemarijn Landsman examines this intriguing aspect of Vermeer's work, greatly enriching and expanding our understanding of the art and life of the "Sphinx of Delft."