Painting: Phoenix by the Schie

It was a typical Dutch town — a canal, two town gates, a bridge and church steeples, a wide majestic sky, and over all a warm light dipping here and there to touch the waves, the boats and a little patch of yellow wall with a special brilliance. Jan Vermeer had painted Delft and the river Schie with all the sureness of one who had spent his entire life there. And even though his name was all but unknown, the painting was recognized as an "extraordinary" landscape (see color pages), purchased by The...

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