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