Girl With the Pearl Earring Mauristhuis, The Hague
Girl With the Pearl Earring
Mauristhuis, The Hague

There are only 36 generally accepted Vermeer’s in the world and they are divided between Europe (22) and America (14). I have personally seen 30!  Vermeer was born in 1632 and lived most of his life in Delft, which is in the province of South Holland, Netherlands.  This historic, rural village is one of the most beautifully preserved, bucolic places I have ever visited.  It originated in 1246 from House of Orange (William the Orange is buried in the Nieuwe Kerke) but a large part of the city was destroyed by an explosion in 1654. Vermeer’s painting, The Delft, has preserved the memory of his former hometown.

I did find it very odd, however, that there is not one original Vermeer painting in the Delft.  You can visit the Vermeer museum and see prints of his 36 known paintings, but you have to travel on to Amsterdam or the Hague to see an original.  Two of Vermeer’s most famous paintings, The Girl with the Pearl Earring  and View of the Delft can be seen in the permanent collection of the Mauritshuis Museum in the Hague.  This is also a town worth seeing and is only 20 minutes away by train.

I recently visited an incredible exhibition hosted by the Musee du Louvre (March 2017) called Vermeer et Les Maitres de la Peinture de Genre which included five Vermeer’s that I had not seen before. The Vermeer exhibition included, for the first time, a pairing of The Geographer (Stadel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany) with its original partner The Astronomer (Musee du Louvre, Paris). Vermeer is showing the modernity of the scientific revolution, le siècle de la révolution scientifique, of XVII siècle hollandais.

The Louvre Exhibition of Vermeer has been the most visited exhibition in the museum’s history and prompted the director to limit the visitors per hour. In addition to Vermeer’s treasures are  more than 70 works by his 17th century Dutch contemporaries including  Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch; however, one can spot the significant difference in craftsmanship of Vermeer when you first approach the room.

I have included in this post an exhaustive list of the known Vermeer’s in the world.  The * denotes the paintings I have been privileged to view (30 out of 36 !). The ** denotes the recent Louvre Exhibition.

View of the Delft Mauritshuis, The Hague
View of the Delft
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
*1657  Street in the Delft
**1658  The Milkmaid (also Louvre Exhibition)
*1662  Woman in Blue reading a Letter
*1669  The Love Letter

Mauritshuis, The Hague
*1660  View of the Delft
*1655  Diana and Her Companions
*1665  Girl with the Pearl Earring

The Lacemaker The Louvre
The Lacemaker
The Louvre


Louvre Museum, Paris
**1669  The Lacemaker
(also Louvre Exhibition)
**1668  The Astronomer
(also Louvre Exhibition)

 Kunstsammlungen, Dresden
1656    The Procuress
1657    Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window 

The Royal Collection, St. James’ Palace, London
1662    The Music Lesson

 The National Gallery, London
1673   Lady Standing at Virginal
*1673 Lady Seated at Virginal (Louvre Exhibition)



The National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh
*1654  Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (Kimbell exhibition, 2016)

The Leiden Collection, New York (Private)
*1674 Young Woman Sitting at a Virginal (Louvre Exhibition)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
*1657  A Maid Asleep at Table
**1663  Woman Playing a Lute near a Window (also Louvre Exhibition)
*1665  Study of a Young Woman
*1662  Woman with a Water Jug
*1666  Head of a Girl
**1671  Allegory of Faith (also Louvre Exhibition)

National Gallery, Washington D.C.
**1665  Lady Writing a Letter (also Louvre Exhibition)
**1662  Woman Weighing Gold (also Louvre Exhibition)
*1666  Girl with a Flute
*1666  Girl with a Red Hat

 Frick Collection, NY
*1658  Soldier and Laughing Girl
*1660  Girl Interrupted at Her Music
*1667  Lady and Her Maidservant

 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
*1665  The Concert (stolen March 1990 :  the empty frame still hangs on the wall)

The Delft 2010
The Delft 2010

Frankfurt, Germany
*1668    The Geographer
(Louvre Exhibition)

Vienna, Austria
*1666    The Art of Painting

1659    Woman and Two Men





The Art of Painting, Vienna, March 2019

Gemadegalerie, Berlin
1658    Glass of Wine
*1664    Woman with a Pearl Necklace (Louvre Exhibition)

1672    The Guitar Player

National Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
*1670    Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid (Louvre Exhibition)

Copyright 2019 by Robyn Lowrie. May be quoted in part or full with attribtuion to Robyn Lowrie (

Further Reading:
The Lacemaker:

The Girl with the Pearl Earring:

My View of the Delft:


Oude Kirk, Delft Where Vermeer is buried
Oude Kirk, Delft
Where Vermeer is buried