Who was Johannes Vermeer? Google Doodle pays tribute to Dutch artist

Its search homepage opens with a panel that highlights three of his paintings

Seen on the Google Doodle are, 'The Allegory of Painting' (1666-1668), on the left, 'Woman Writing a Letter, with her Maid' (1670-1671), centre, and 'Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window' (1657-1659). Photo: Google
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Google has paid tribute to Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in its latest signature Doodle.

Three of Vermeer’s paintings can be seen on the search engine’s homepage on Friday to celebrate an eponymous exhibition that opened on the same day at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC in 1995.

Seen on the Doodle are, The Allegory of Painting (1666-1668), on the left, Woman Writing a Letter, with her Maid (1670-1671), centre, and Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window (1657-1659).

The Doodle can be viewed in many countries including the US, Canada, Iceland, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Norway, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Greece and Bulgaria.

It’s also showing in the Mena region, appearing on search engines in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Who was Johannes Vermeer?

Vermeer was born in Delft, the Netherlands in 1632. Although not much is known about his early life, historians have veered towards the belief that he first aspired to be a historical painter based on his early works.

However, by the 1650s, his style evolved to feature more intricate symbology with a focus on domestic interior scenes – something that would later become a hallmark of his paintings.

In 1665, he created perhaps his most famous work The Girl with the Pearl Earring, which is currently on display at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.

Vermeer died after battling a short illness in 1675. Although there are only 35 universal paintings attributed to him, he has since become known as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

In 2019, his artworks were part of an exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi that celebrated Dutch masters. They also featured works by Rembrandt, Jan Lievens, and Frans Hals and were loaned from the Leiden Collection and Musee du Louvre.

What are Google Doodles?

Google Doodles feature sporadically throughout the year, transforming Google's traditional logo into an animation to pay tribute to an important figure or moment in history.

The doodles can also mark seasonal or celebratory events, such as International Women's Day, for example.

Scroll through our gallery below to see other regional Google Doodles from the past.

Updated: November 12, 2021, 7:21 AM