Jacobus Vrel


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(active 1654–62).

Dutch painter, an enigmatic figure who has only recently gained recognition as one of the most charmingly idiosyncratic masters of his time. Nothing at all is recorded of his life, his name surviving solely through the signatures on some of his paintings. About 40 pictures by him are known—either sparse interiors or quiet street scenes. They show a remarkably fresh, almost naive vision and have a sense of tranquil poetry that has led them to be compared to the work of Vermeer. Several of his paintings have, indeed, formerly gone under Vermeer's name, for example Street Scene in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Because of the similarity of spirit, it has been surmised that Vrel, too, worked in Delft, but some authorities consider it likely that he lived in a provincial town rather than a major art centre.

Subjects: Art.

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