Not to be confused with A View of Delft (by Carel Fabritius)
View of Delft (Dutch: Gezicht op Delft) is an oil painting by Johannes Vermeer, painted ca. 1660–1661. The painting of the Dutch artist's hometown is among his most popular, painted at a time when cityscapes were uncommon. It is one of three known paintings of Delft by Vermeer, along with The Little Street and the lost painting House Standing in Delft. The use of pointillism in the work suggests that it postdates The Little Street.
The technical analysis shows that Vermeer used a limited choice of pigments for this painting: lead white, yellow ochre, natural ultramarine and madder lake are the main painting materials. His painting technique on the other hand is very elaborate and meticulous.
In 2011, the painting was featured on gold and silver commemorative coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint. The painting also features in Marcel Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time. Proust himself greatly admired Vermeer, particularly a View of Delft. When seeing the work for the first time, Proust is quoted as saying:
"Ever since I saw the View of Delft in the museum in The Hague, I have known that I had seen the most beautiful painting in the world".
This is the most famous cityscape of the Dutch Golden Age. The interplay of light and shade, the impressive cloudy sky and the subtle reflections in the water make this painting an absolute masterpiece.
We are looking at Delft from the south. There is hardly a breath of wind and the city has an air of tranquillity. Vermeer reflected this tranquillity in his composition, by making three horizontal strips: water, city and sky. He also painted the buildings a bit neater than they actually were.