Vermeer's Grave - Atlas Obscura

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Vermeer's Grave

The grave of the famous painter is marked by a simple stone in the ground. 


The Oude Kerk, or the Old church is an 11th-century church in Delft that is the final resting place of some very famous Dutchmen. One of the best-known inhabitants is Johannes Vermeer, the 17th-century painter behind paintings like Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Milkmaid.

While many may expect a grandiose tomb, in fact, Vermeer’s burial place is simply marked by a small tombstone on the ground. Though some have guessed that the tombstone is so small because Vermeer was buried upright, in actuality, the stone was placed long after his death in 1675. 

Vermeer had been buried in a family crypt in the church. When he died, there was not enough money to pay for a separate tombstone. But as Vermeer became more well-known, many people visited his grave, and the stone was put there to satisfy visitors.

In 1975, on the 300th anniversary of the painter’s death, a new marker was installed around the location of the former family grave. A larger one was put in place near the church’s western entrance in 2007.

Know Before You Go

Combination tickets are sold for access to the Oude Kerk and the Nieuwe Kerk, check the website for prices. 

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