Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter. It is not entirely clear whom Vermeer studied with in his youth, although he is believed to have spent that period of his life in Amsterdam or Utrecht. In 1653, Vermeer was named a master painter and joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Delft. Vermeer often depicted middle-class life and mundane, everyday tasks in carefully composed paintings. He was able to recreate the light and often used bright colors. Only 34 paintings exist that are completely attributed to Vermeer. One of his best known works is Girl With a Pearl Earring, which depicts a young girl against a dark background with a big pearl in her left earlobe. Girl With a Pearl Earring is also the title of a book by Tracy Chevalier, which is based on the painting by Vermeer, and was the basis of a British movie of the same name.
Vermeer’s fame came after his death, and he died poor.