Wayne Franits, a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, is Professor of Art History at Syracuse University, New York. His numerous publications have explored a variety of topics within the field, ranging from genre painting and portraiture to the work of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio. Johannes Vermeer (1632-75), known as the "painter of light", is one of the most mesmerising painters of the Dutch Golden Age. He is one of the most popular Old Master painters, and his 36 surviving paintings are both tranquil and deeply mysterious -- meticulously painted, sensuously composed and historically fascinating. In this new monograph, part of Phaidon's Art and Ideas series, Wayne Franits, Professor of Art History at Syracuse University in New York state, examines the work of Vermeer within the framework of his times, one of the most intellectually creative periods in this history of art. Written in a lively and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship on the artist, Franits provides fresh insights into many of Vermeer's most famous works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings. Authoritative yet approachable new monograph on the enigmatic painter Johannes Vermeer.