Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer - (1632 - 1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter who specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings. Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colors, sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for cornflower blue and yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes. Almost all his paintings are apparently set in two smallish rooms in his house in Delft; they show the same furniture and decorations in various arrangements and they often portray the same people, mostly women. Recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death; he was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbrakens major source book on 17th-century Dutch painting Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists, and was thus omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries. There are no known portraits of Vermeer.