View of Houses in Delft, Known as ‘The Little Street’

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c. 1658, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This painting of a quiet street with a few figures occupies an exceptional place in Vermeer’s oeuvre. Straight angles give the composition balance, while the triangle of the sky introduces a sense of dynamism. The old walls, coarse bricks, and white plasterwork are almost palpable. Vermeer nonetheless took some liberties with reality, such as the oversized green shutters.

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