Penguin Book


Andrew Graham Dixon

Johannes Vermeer, whose career spanned just twenty years, and whose entire oeuvre comprises only 34 pictures, was one of the least prolific of the great masters. Yet his work exerts such a hold on the popular imagination that exhibitions of his paintings draw huge audiences all over the world and a fictionalised account of a small part of his life, Girl With a Pearl Earring, was an international bestseller.

Yet almost none of those who admire the serenity of Vermeer's pictures know the real life of the man who painted them or realise that it was as full of darkness as the pictures are of light. He came from a family of fraudsters and hucksters; he was ruined by the French invasion of the Netherlands in 1672 and died at 43 in a fit of insanity.

Andrew Graham-Dixon's book will be the first account to present the plethora of Vermeer scholarship and archival discoveries of the last three decades in a biography for a non-specialist audience. As in his celebrated biography Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, the heart of it will be Graham-Dixon's brilliant readings of the paintings, around which he will weave the biographical narrative. The book will be the definitive modern portrait of one of the world's most loved, but until now also one of its most enigmatic painters.

For more than twenty-five years, Andrew Graham Dixon has published a weekly column on art, first in the Independent and more recently, the Sunday Telegraph. He has written a number of acclaimed books and is twice winner of the Hawthornden Prize, Britain's top prize for writing about art. He is one of the leading figures in broadcasting in the UK, having presented seven major television series on art for the BBC.

Publication date
  • Biography and Memoir
Format TPS
234 x 153mm
Georgina Capel Associates
Georgina Capel Associates
Georgina Capel Associates
Georgina Capel Associates
Audio (Unabridged)
Georgina Capel Associates
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