Jan Vermeer, (1632-75). Dutch painter. He struggle to support a large family, receiving little or no income from his paintings, which went unnoticed until the 19th century. Vermeer’s mastery of the effect of light on surfaces displayed in most of his pictures, which generally portray one or two figures in a domestic setting, with the light coming from a window on the left of the picture. His paintings, some of the best-known Dutch genre paintings, are also noted for the realism of his interiors.