Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter in the 17th century. Although not much is known about his early life, Vermeer was a moderately successful painter, although he was not necessarily rich, for he produced a relatively low amount of paintings. He preferred to paint slowly and used curved, smooth strokes and bright and expensive pigments, such as lapis lazuli. Some of his famous works include The Milkmaid, The Procuress, The Geographer, the Astronomer, and Girl with a Pearl Earring. Vermeer died in 1675 at the age of 43.