Vermeer was largely forgotten until the 19th century, probably due in large part to the fact that many of his works remained in a few local collections until the 18th century. Neither did Vermeer make prints, a common tactic at the time for artists wishing to spread their fame. At auction sales, his works were presented under other names, often under De Hooch’s. In the late 18th century, after a trip to Holland, the English painter Joshua Reynolds tried to draw attention to his work. In 1866, the French critic Théophile Thoré (aka Willem Bürger) attributed 63 paintings to Vermeer in an article published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts. After decades of study and technical examination, Vermeer’s surviving oeuvre has since been reduced to about 36 paintings (not including 6 to 8 documented but untraced works).
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