VERMEER VAN HAARLEM, Dutch family of painters
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.