Geoffrey Fox



The explosion of painterly talent in Delft began then with attempts to reproduce Italian effects (especially the bright sunlight) with the Dutch subject matter that appealed to local patrons. Rivalry among these artists, and knowledge of new inventions such as the camera obscura, spurred innovation in both themes and techniques. It was a glorious moment, which ended when that particular generation died (Vermeer in 1676) and their successors, competing now for a diminishing clientele, became more cautiously repetitive of what had worked in the past. (2001-6-6)