Johannes Vermeer (1632–75) has long been heralded as one of the greatest Dutch painters of the Golden Age. As the spectacular success of recent exhibitions on this artist confirms, Vermeer's work continues to fascinate specialists and laypersons alike. The Cambridge Companion to Vermeer offers a systematic overview of the artist's life and work that will be useful to specialists, students, and the general public. Its eleven essays include studies of the artist's development and approach to painting, women as a subject in Vermeer's work, the role of Catholicism in Vermeer's life and art, and the artist's reputation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, among other topics. Collectively, these essays provide a balanced and enlightening examination of many different aspects of Vermeer's art.