Jan Vermeer. Complete PaintingsBy Karl Schutz
His works have prompted a New York Times bestseller; a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth: record visitor numbers at art institutions from Amsterdam to Washington; and special crowd-control measures at the Mauritshuis, The Hague, where thousands flock to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic, wide-eyed, and enchanting Girl with a Pearl Earring, also known as the "Dutch Mona Lisa". In his lifetime, however, Johannes Vermeer's fame barely extended beyond his native Delft and a small circle of patrons. After his death, his name was largely forgotten, except by a few Dutch art collectors and dealers. Outside of Holland, his works were even misattributed to other artists. It was not until the mid 19th century, that Vermeer returned to the attention of the international art world, which suddenly looked upon his narrative minutiae, meticulous textural detail, and majestic planes of light, spotted a genius, and never looked back. This XL edition brings together the complete catalog of Vermeer's work, gathering the calm yet compelling scenes treasured in galleries across Europe and the United States into one edition of utmost reproduction quality. From letter writing to music playing to preparations in the kitchen, it allows Vermeer's restrained, but richly evocative, repertoire of domestic actions to unfold in generous format, including three fold-out spreads. Many details, meanwhile, emphasize the artist's outstanding ability both to bear witness to the trends and trimmings of the Dutch Golden Age and to encapsulate an entire story in just one transient gesture, expression, or look.