New!  Unpublished Vermeer book manuscript seeking a quality publisher

A Passion Project

Author Kaldenbach lecturing in front of Vermeer

Over the last 40 years, art historian and art expert Drs Kees Kaldenbach has studied Vermeer, in-depth and with great passion.

He has seen all Vermeer paintings including the stolen one (Boston). As a result of original archival research, now an exciting and handsome manuscript, some 48.000 words long, with a wealth of illustrations, is now available in English.

Publisher alert!

Book Chapter division

Page xx        Chapter 1: Introduction to Delft, a Military City                                                                              

Page xx        Chapter 2: An Absolute Masterwork: The Art of Painting (Vienna)

Page xx        Chapter 3. Vermeer’s Paint Materials and Techniques

Page xx        Chapter 4. Music, Courtship and Love

Page xx        Chapter 5. Delft lens makers, Optical Experiments, the Camera Obscura

Page xx        Chapter 6. Artists and Artisans, Masters in the Guild of St Luke

Page xx        Chapter 7. Vermeer’s Houses and Family History

Page xx        Chapter 8. City Institutions and Knowledge

Page xx        Chapter 9. Delft Blue Industry

Page xx        Chapter 10. Vermeer’s Women: Poetry, Stillness

 Page xx        Chapter 11. Vermeer’s Fame, Lost and Found

 Page xx        Chapter 12. Selected Bibliography

Page xx        Chapter 13. Treasures from Archives: Palpable connections to Vermeer, a giant of fine art.


Discussing these Vermeer paintings:

  1. Diana and her Companions, The Hague. Chapter 6.
  2. Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Edinburgh. Chapter 3.
  3. The Procuress, Dresden. Chapter 8.
  4. Drunken Sleeping Maid at a Table, MMA. Chapter 10.
  5. A Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window, Dresden. Chapter 10.
  6. Officer and Laughing Girl, Frick-NYC. Chapter 1.
  7. The Little Street, Amsterdam. Chapter 7.
  8. The Milkmaid, Amsterdam. Chapter 7.
  9. The Glass of Wine. Berlin. Chapter 4.
  10. The Girl with a Glass of Wine. Braunschweig
  11. Girl Interrupted in her Music, Frick NYC Detail, chapter 4.
  12. View of Delft, The Hague. Chapter 1.
  13. The Music Lesson, London / Windsor. Chapter 4.
  14. Woman (in Blue) Reading a Letter, Amsterdam. Chapter 10.
  15. Woman Holding a Balance, Washington-DC. Chapter 10.
  16. Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, MMA-NYC. Chapter 10.
  17. Woman with a Lute, MMA-NYC.
  18. Woman with a Pearl Necklace, Berlin. Chapter 10.
  19. A Lady Writing, Washington-DC.
  20. Girl with a Red Hat, Washington-DC. Chapter 10.
  21. Girl with a Flute, Washington-DC.
  22. Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Hague. Chapter 10.
  23. The Concert, ISG-Boston, (stolen 1990). Chapter 4.
  24. The Art of Painting, Vienna. Chapter 2.
  25. Study of a Young Woman, MMA-NYC.
  26. Mistress and Maid, Frick-NYC. Chapter 10.
  27. The Astronomer, Louvre.
  28. The Geographer, Frankfurt. Chapter 8.
  29. The Lacemaker, Louvre. Chapter 10.
  30. The Love Letter, Amsterdam. Chapter 10.
  31. The Guitar Player, Kenwood-London
  32. Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid, Dublin. Chapter 10.
  33. Allegory of Catholic Faith, MMA-NYC Chapter 10.
  34. A Lady Standing at a Virginal, London. Chapter 10.
  35. A Lady Seated at a Virginal, London.
  36. A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals, Leiden Collection (Tom Kaplan) NYC; often lent out to public museums.

Example of one discussion, in a visual way:


Word count:

Vermeer book word count
Table Contents + List of paintings 525
Ch1 Military City 6000
Ch2 The Art of Painting 3120
Ch3 Paint Materials 1900
Ch4 Music, Courtship and Love 4700
Ch5 Optical Experiments 3250
Ch6 Guild of St Luke 5040
Ch7 Vermeer’s Houses 5600
Ch8 City Institutions 3900
Ch9 Delft Blue 2280
Ch10 Vermeer’s Women 8300
Ch11 Vermeer’s Fame 2000
Ch12 Bibliography 620
Index (will there be one?) 0
CH 13 Treasures 1000
Total 48235


Rebate on Payment of Image Rights

Two museums (at least) have waived payment of image rights: The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (4 Vermeers and some 30 support illustrations) and the Metropolitan Museum of art (4 Vermeers and some 5 support illustrations).

A small taste of the book manuscript: This is how Chapter 1 starts:


Drs Kaldenbach teaching in front of Vermeer, the Little Street.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Delft, a Military City

Far from being a proverbial recluse, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was an active man in seventeenth Century Delft life, not only as a painter and painting dealer, and member of the painters’ guild, but also as an officer and as armed man in its Civic Guard organisation. Vermeer’s small painting Officer and Laughing Girl reflects this civic guard life, and it looks almost like a high-definition photograph; it is crisp and sharp in luminous details. The paint surface resembles that of a lacquer box and the image invites us visually to enter a private house, c 1657, in the military city of Delft. We see a dominant male, oversized compared to the smaller size of the female. The man wears a hat made out of beaver fur, originally gained by fur trappers in the settlement of New Amsterdam / New York City and imported to Holland. The broad sash over one shoulder indicates his officer rank. In the period 1650-1672, thus during most of Vermeers adult life, the Dutch Republic was temporarily without a Stadtholder (hereditary steward, of the House of Orange), and the real the power was vested in city governments and civic guards, the latter grouped in platoons consisting of citizen house owners in one neighbourhood.


Please contact author Kaldenbach at