(Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). For his consecutive homes see Johannes Vermeer, Vermeer 1, Vermeer 2, Vermeer 3, Vermeer 4, Vermeer 5]. For the locations of the two townscape paintings see St1 - St2.)
Vermeer's father Reynier Jansz. (ca. 1591-1652) was born on Beestenmarkt number 14 in a house called Nassau. His parents were the tailor Jan Reyersz. and Cornelia (alias Neeltge Goris, who died 1627) The latter lived on Voldersgracht nr. 3 in the house In de Bruynvisch (In the porpoise).
After Jan Reyersz. died in 1597 Neeltge married Claes Corstiaensz, a professional musician who lived in De Drie Hamers (Three Hammers) on Beestenmarkt number 26 (see JV1b) on the corner of Grote Broerhuissteeg (now Broerhuisstraat). He owned a lute, a trombone, a shawm ("schalmei", a precursor to the hobo), two violins and a "cornet"=______ .
Music was to became a recurrent theme in Vermeer's paintings. In 1615 Vermeer's father Reynier Jansz. married Dingenum (Digna, d.1670) Baltens. They also lived on Beestenmarkt. Their wedding took place in in Amsterdam where he was temporarily in training as caffa (cotton-silk satin) worker. In order to facilitate their marriage they brought a testimonial from the Delft pastor Taurinus who was part of the Remonstranse movement, a liberal minority fraction at odds with the majority hardline group of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Neeltge Goris was active as "uijtdraegster" or second hand goods dealer, liquidating estates of deceased people. As paintings were his may have been part of these estates, this may have been the start of her son Reynier's interest in dealing in second hand paintings.
Note on the house Nassau, based on research by Montias. In the seventeenth century houses were still identified by their stone image on the gable or a protruding visual sign made of wood or metal; house numbers as we know them now were widely introduced in Holland during the Napoleonic era at the end of the eighteenth century. The public Vermeer information stand on that square is erroneous. The house numbers 14 and 26 are interchanged. Indeed Broerhuis area locations may be especially confusing. At the site of present day Beestenmarkt was a large church of the Minderbroeders (= Friars Minor), outlining various streets around it. 1) Broerhuislaan is now the straight southern part of Burgwal. 2) Grote Broerhuissteeg or Lange Broerhuissteeg has been renamed Broerhuisstraat in 1923. 3) Korte Broerhuissteeg ran along the western facade of the Beestenmarkt towards Molslaan. This confusion is reflected in GAD sources. Nassau, identified here as nr 26 at the corner of Broerhuisstraat was named "Broerhuissteeg south side" in one source while a source of 17 October 1612 mentions Nassau as "de herberg die daar uithangt op de hoek van de Broerhuisstraat". Source: GAD register of House Names. Oral information mr. Wim Weve. Musical instruments listed by Edwin Buijsen, 'Vermeer en het muziekleven in zijn tijd' in De Hollandse samenleving in de tijd van Vermeer, Den Haag/Zwolle 1996, p.114.
Note on Goris: Soutendam Necrologium, p. 20 mentions Goris. All Vermeer sites based on Montias except for location of The Little Street. Note on family names: Many family names were still unsettled. Reynier Jansz. (Johannes Vermeer's father) used the name 'Vos' and also 'Van der Minne' but in his contacts with painters he preferred the alias 'Vermeer'. The final z. in his name represents the word 'zoon' (son).
This page forms part of a large encyclopedic site on Delft. Research by Drs. Kees Kaldenbach (email). A full presentation is on view at johannesvermeer.info.
Launched 16 February 2001; Last update March 1, 2017.