Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vermeer” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Lawrence Gowing
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.93  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Lawrence Gowing's classic study has long been treasured for the painterly sensibilities he brought to this greatly loved body of work. Finally the text is available again, with a new foreword and fresh reproductions of Vermeer's paintings.
ebook, 240 pages
Published November 5th 1997 by University of California Press (first published 1960)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vermeer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vermeer

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  75 ratings  ·  7 reviews

More filters
Sort order
I simply adore Vermeer.

Many years ago I saw The Astronomer, at the Louvre, and I have never looked back. Since then I have seen both Lady Standing at a Virginal and Lady Seated at a Virginal [National Gallery], The Allegory of Faith, Portrait of a Young Womand, Woman with a Water Jug and A Girl Asleep [MOMA] and I have also had the pleasure of viewing A Woman Holding a Balance, and Girl with a Red Hat [Washington].

The man was a true genius of his trade, yet his works [except for Girl with a Pear
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Gowing is a serious art critic. It's interesting to read his conclusions about Vermeer and his paintings because there are a lot of gaps.
Eric Aguirre
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
Mi misión es leer todos los libros escritos sobre el pintor de Deltf. Los misterios de Johannes Vermeer me producen una insaciable curiosidad. ¿Quién era Vermeer? ¿Por qué pintaba lo que pintaba y como lo hacía?. En este libro Lawrence Gowing hace un recorrido por todas las pinturas de Vermeer, comparándolas con obras de otros pintores holandeses. Hace muchas comparaciones con el arte de Pieter de Hooch, quien era coetáneo de Vermeer; pero también muestra la influencia de Rembrandt, Caravaggio y ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Gowing explores the ways in which Johannes Vermeer was similar to and different from his contemporaries—especially Vermeer's early struggles with genre scenes and his "solutions" (solitary women lost in their own worlds, little human interaction) and the unprecedented ways in which optics and light take primacy in his works rather than recognizability or visual continuity. Gowing unpacks some of the allegory and symbolism in the paintings and identifies both recurrent motifs and shapes ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, as an artist, I have to admit that Vermeer is one of my favorite artists. And I am thrilled that an English artist, Sir Lawrence Burnet Gowing (April 21, 1918--February 5, 1991) was an exceptional English artist, writer, curator and teacher. (As a student of art history he was largely self-taught.) Sir Lawrence was a trustee of the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the British Museum, and was a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain. In 1978, he was elected an associat ...more
Carolyn Gelland
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Gowing understands Vermeer's characters and the worlds they inhabit--all interiors of rooms--in a very Jamesian manner. He details, at one with Vermeer, how the singular detachment, refinement, the hieratic finesse and immaculate gestures of withdrawal of his subjects, and above all how light is used to convey this stance in relation to persons and the material world-- a fabric gleaming distantly in the air, for example, or the shining ring of a wine glass--render "the very shape of sti ...more
Dec 28, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vermeer doesn't seem to have painted much - or at least not many of his painting have survived. They're all in this book and (not to hurt his feelings or anything) there were only a couple I really liked. The Little Street, View of Delft,
Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2009
rated it liked it
Mar 29, 2014
Wendy Diamond
rated it it was amazing
Apr 06, 2014
Patrick Michael
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2016
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2008
rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2013
Kyle Lai
rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Feb 29, 2008
rated it it was ok
Aug 17, 2016
rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2018
Charles Malue
rated it liked it
May 19, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2007
Richard Jardine
rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2017
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2017
C lonnquist
rated it it was amazing
Jun 03, 2008
John Fox
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2010
Rhonda Megargel
rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2008
Elizabeth Murphy
rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2017
rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2015
rated it liked it
Jun 11, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Promise of American Life
  • Melbourne: The Young Melbourne / Lord M
  • The Contours of American History
  • Samuel Johnson
  • A Preface to Morals
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance
  • The Taming Of Chance (Ideas in Context)
  • An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy Vol. 1
  • The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980
  • Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War
  • Principia Mathematica to '56 (Mathematical Library)
  • Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
  • Vermeer: A View of Delft
  • The Strange Death of Liberal England
  • Selected Essays
  • Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 1: Introductory Orientations
  • The Nature and Destiny of Man, Vols 1-2
See similar books…
Sir Lawrence Gowing was a British artist, writer, curator, and teacher. Initially recognized as a portrait and landscape painter, he quickly rose to prominence as an art educator, writer, and, eventually, curator and museum trustee. As a student of art history he was largely self-taught.

Sir Lawrence was born Lawrence Burnett Gowing to Horace Gowing, a draper, and his wife, Luisa. Born in Stoke New
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »