(b. 1632, Delft, d. 1675, Delft)
View of Delft (detail)1659-60
Oil on canvas
Mauritshuis, The Hague
The most significant effect is the lighting. Dark clouds overhanging the city cast the foreground in shadow. This not only calls attention to the vastness of the sky, but serves to draw the eye into the heart of the city, which is bathed in warm sunshine. Vermeer also used various textural effects to convey the physical presence of Delft. Anticipating Georges Braque by 250 years, he blended sand with the paint used to render the stone facades, bridge and roofs. In the tallest tower, Vermeer applied a thick impasto of yellow to accentuate the sunlit areas.