Exploring Delft, Netherlands: Visiting Vermeer's Hometown with Wendy Fossen

Exploring Delft, Netherlands: Visiting Vermeer's Hometown with Wendy Fossen


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The beautiful town of Delft used to be one of the Netherlands’ most flourishing markets during the Dutch Golden Age. It is known as the birthplace of painter Johannes Vermeer who created the "Girl with the Pearl Earring" and is also celebrated worldwide for its blue and white Delftware. Over the centuries its picturesque city center has remained intact. As we meander together through the city center with a combination of up-close photographs and pre-taped footage, our local expert will contextualize the town’s medieval origins, commercial development, and modern political affairs.

We will begin our time together discussing the main Market square, where we will admire the exterior of the New Church of Delft which is a fine example of the late gothic style. Inside we take a look at the tomb of William of Orange and try to get a feeling of the closed-off crypt that has housed the deceased members of the royal Orange-Nassau family ever since.

We continue wandering through the streets and past the canals of Delft, seeing historical sights like City hall, the weighhouse as well as other remarkable buildings in the old town center. We will also briefly discuss the Porcelyne Fles (the home of Royal Delft) where we hear more about the exquisite Delftware products that have been produced there since the seventeenth century. 

Of course, we will also hear more about Johannes Vermeer, who lived in Delft his entire life and we will discover the location of the Little Street he painted. Two other famous townsmen, Hugo Grotius (father of international law) and Anthony van Leeuwenhoek (father of microbiology) and will also be mentioned when we discuss Delft as the home of the Technical University which was founded in 1842. 

We will complete our virtual walk with a visit to the Prinsenhof, where the above-mentioned William of Orange was murdered, and our final stop will be the Old Church where Vermeer was buried.

Led by the art historian, Wendy Fossen, this interactive conversation will allow participants to experience one of the most beautiful cities of the Dutch Golden Age. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge of the Dutch cultural history and enthusiasm for their future visits to this beautiful region of the Netherlands. 

Wendy Fossen is a freelance art historian with a number of degrees, one of them being in Art History. She loves a wide variety of art and shares this passion in her work as a museum guide in the Kunstmuseum and Mauritshuis (both in The Hague, The Netherlands), as a tourmanager in Europe (mainly Italy), and as an art history docent.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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