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Jan Vermeer
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    (1632-December 15, 1675)
    Born in Delft, Netherlands
    Also known as Johannes Vermeer
    Noted works include 'Girl with a Pearl Earring,' 'A Girl Asleep,' 'The Music Lesson,' 'The Allegory of Painting,' 'A Lady Writing a Letter,' 'The Astronomer' and 'Girl Interrupted at Her Music'
    Little is known of his life, leading one critic to call him 'The Sphinx of Delft.'
    He sold relatively few paintings, leaving his wife and children in debt when he died.
    Despite his chronic money problems, he used large amounts of the expensive pigments ultramarine and lapis lazuli in his paintings.
    He was largely forgotten for nearly 200 years.
    After his rediscovery, he was hailed as one of the greatest artists of the 17th century.
    His paintings are known for their masterful use of light.
    His 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' was called 'the Mona Lisa of the North.'
    An associate of Hermann Goering said the Nazi bigwig was more upset when one of his prized Vermeers was exposed as a forgery than when he was sentenced to death.

Credit: C. Fishel

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