Before I get into the subject of Oude Kerk in Delft, I would just like to take a moment to say that I hate colds. I am in day 7 of mine. I don’t get sick very often (last memorable time was October 2009), but I knew something was up when a student overheard me talking to someone else; he joined the conversation and was able to describe my symptoms down to a T. Ugh. Lots of hot tea for me. Why did I agree to an 11 hour shift tomorrow again?
As you might have realized from my previous posts about Delft, I like Vermeer. I didn’t really know anything about him until I met Marco of course. When I started to fall in love with the Netherlands, I visited my public library and tried to find all the material I could about the country. Even though this is New York, there is not a lot. There is some material I could get from other libraries in the system, I just prefer to have it right at my fingertips without sending for it and waiting a week.
We visited both the Oude Kerk and the Nieuwe Kerk (old and new church, respectively) during the summer of 2011.
My fascination with Vermeer began when I read a book about Vermeer’s greatest forger, Han van Meegeren. The book talked about both his life and how he made the forgeries – and the great luck he found when no one looked at them closely enough. But of course his luck would run out.
The second book that I remember reading was a fictionalized account of who the girl in The Girl with a Pearl Earring might be. The book stated that the girl might be a servant in the Vermeer household – which was scandalous since a servant should not be seen wearing such jewelry. This also where I will mention that my work tea cup has the painting on its side, though I do not have any pictures of it.
Above you have a tombstone for Vermeer that was made in 2007. The exact location of his grave within the church is unknown; when he died in 1675 his family did not have enough money for a tombstone. There is also a second tombstone, much smaller in size, which was installed in the church in 1975 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his death.
And finally, to give you a sense of what the floor looked like… it is very easy to trip, due to the grave markers which are raised up off the floor. But it is great to see all of the history that comes out of this one Dutch church.