Thanks in part to the paintings of Vermeer, we know exactly what life was like in Delft during the 17th century. One exquisite example is his world-famous painting ‘The Little Street’. This painting shows us exactly what the city looked like back then.
The Little Street
There are various theories about the exact location of ‘The Little Street’. In November 2015, the art historian Frans Grijzenhout determined that it had to be the building at Vlamingstraat 40 and 42 in Delft. In those days, the Vlamingstraat was a neighbourhood where low-income workers lived, such as meat cutters and carpenters. An aunt of Johannes Vermeer lived in the house in the painting.
Van Grijzenhout pinpointed the location based on the ‘register of quayside property’, which contained a very detailed inventory of all houses, alleyways, and courtyards in the centre of Delft. As you walk towards the Vlamingstraat, you will see that nothing is left of the building shown in the painting, except perhaps the doorway into the alley. If you are in the Vlamingstraat, please keep in mind that the narrow street and its narrow pavements are not designed for groups of stationary sightseers.
Tip: opposite the Vlamingstraat you will find the Voldersgracht and the Vermeer Centrum Delft, as well as lots of trendy coffee bars, such as KEK Delft, Pleck Shop&Eat, and LOT. Coffee Boutique.
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