This edition is overwhelmingly a rehash of the original volume initially published in 1986, dressed up a bit with better reproductions of some of Vermeer's paintings but otherwise undistinguished. The Dutch art historian, Albert Blankert, continues to doubt the authenticity of Vermeer's Girl with a Red Hat, for wholly unpersuasive reasons, and therefore excludes this amazing painting from the main text. For better but not entirely convincing reasons, he also excludes the National Gallery's Young Girl with a Flute, a painting almost certainly done by Vermeer but likely reworked badly by another's hand, so that it lacks Vermeer's magical refinement.
This book as well does not include a reference to the most recently recognized addition to Vermeer's canon, Young Woman at the Virginals, an attribution now with a history of more than five years. Moreover, one would have appreciated a recent reproduction of Vermeer's newly cleaned and restored The Procuress, an early work that presaged the artist's rather extensive use of the camera obscura. The restoration honors Vermeer's original intentions magnificently, bringing forth a silvery light not seen previously.
For the best volume showcasing high quality reproductions of Vermeer's work, one should consult Walter Leidtke's Vermeer and the Dutch School. For a comprehensive history revealing what is known about Vermeer and his milieu, do read Michael Montias' book (and not the precis contained in this volume). For a terrific digest of Vermeer's art and history, buy Anthony Bailey's Vermeer: A View of Delft.