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Very still life; Dutch painting; Vermeer in Delft and New York.(Books and Arts)(Review) - The Economist (US) | HighBeam Research

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Very still life; Dutch painting; Vermeer in Delft and New York.(Books and Arts)(Review)

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April 21, 2001 | COPYRIGHT 2009 Economist Newspaper Ltd. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights or concerns about this content should be directed to Customer Service.
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THERE is a hole at the centre of all biographies of Johannes Vermeer, where the man himself should be. Although his pictures continued to be greatly valued through the 18th and early 19th centuries, Vermeer was then almost lost as a historical personage, until his oeuvre was painstakingly put back together in the 1860s by a French critic, Theophile Thore. Even so, the painter's personality and life-story remained elusive, which may be why Thore christened him "the Sphinx of Delft".

Scholarship has moved on since Thore's time, and over the past 30 years a series of documents has emerged from the Dutch archives, many of them …

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