Vermeer's Little Street
A View of the Penspoort in Delft
Text by Frans Grijzenhout.
This book describes an incredible detective story: the story of the exact location of Vermeer’s famous “Little Street” which has occupied art historians for centuries. Executed circa 1657–58, and depicting a quiet street, typical of a Dutch Golden Age town, this painting is one of Vermeer’s most beloved. The location of the street, however, has always been a mystery. Did Vermeer paint his own house, a view of someone else’s house, or did he invent the composition? Frans Grijzenhout, Professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, consulted 17th-century records that had never before been used for this purpose, which clearly indicate the site of the street. (It is Vlamingstraat in Delft, at the point where the present-day numbers 40 and 42 stand.) Grijzenhout’s story made the news worldwide, and is related in this affordable volume. The discovery sheds new light on Vermeer’s life and work, and his family.