Dutch family of artists. The history of this family from Haarlem is confusing since there were as many as five generations with the forename Jan. A Jan Vermeer (active 1598-1612), whose occupation is not known, married Janneken Woutersd. Knyff, the sister of the painter Jacob Woutersz. Knyff. Their son, known as Jan Vermeer I (c. 1600-1670), was an art dealer, distiller and tobacco merchant; he is also said to have been a landscape painter, but this activity is not well documented. Two of Jan I's sons became landscape painters, Jan Vermeer II (Jan the Elder) and his lesser-known brother, Isaak Vermeer (1635-after 1665). The artistic tradition continued with the two sons of Jan II, Jan Vermeer III (Jan the Younger) and his brother Barent Vermeer, a still-life painter. Yet another minor painter of the same name, usually referred to as Jan Vermeer IV (active 1694), is presumed to have been a descendant of the same family. 'Van Haarlem' is traditionally added to the surname to distinguish the family members from Johannes Vermeer of Delft.