How many paintings do you need to paint to enter the history of art?
The opportunity to talk about paintings and numbers is offered by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which has announced the "definitive exhibition" dedicated to Johannes van der Meer, in short Jan Vermeer, in which he will exhibit all his works.
The opening of the exhibition is scheduled for February 2022 and, if the promise is kept, 34 works will be exhibited.
In fact, Jan Vermeer created just over 40 paintings throughout his life, of which 34 have survived.
This is enough to place the Dutch painter among the greats of art history alongside Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
Although he died young, Vincent Van Gogh made more than 900 paintings and 1100 drawings, while Rembrandt, who also made engravings and prints, stops at around 300 works.
It can be said that Rembrandt made up for the smaller number of works with the size of his paintings; the famous "Night Watch" is in fact a huge canvas of 3.63 x 4.37 meters.
Jan Vermeer, on the other hand, painted in very small dimensions; just think that his work "Merlettaia" is only 24 by 21 centimeters.
Outside of Holland a painter as famous as Vermeer is Picasso, who, however, did not spare himself by creating more than 120,000 works.
It was enough for the Dutch genius with his prodigious and very particular technique to create 1 picture for every 3,530 Picasso paintings.
Also from this point of view "Few paintings / great fame", however, the Dutch have to give way once again to Italy.
In this field the absolute record holder is always him: Leonardo da Vinci.
Undisputed champion of popularity and unrivaled genius of painting, it was enough for him paint 14 pictures.
The "Made in Italy" has no rivals.
Andrea Giuseppe Fadini