The Milkmaid (De Melkmeid or Het Melkmeisje), sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, is an oil-on-canvas painting of a "milkmaid", in fact a domestic kitchen maid, by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer.
Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer, baptised in Delft on 31 October 1632 as Joannis, and buried in the same city under the name Jan on 15 December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialised in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.
Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colours and sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for cornflower blue and yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.
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