Great Art Explained: The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer
By the mid 17th century, the art being produced in Catholic countries had become a powerful tool of propaganda, characterized by a heightened sense of drama, movement, and theatricality that had never been seen before.
But in the Protestant Netherlands, a new wave of realism was sweeping across the country. Johannes Vermeer was producing simple domestic interiors of middle-class life. His paintings were quiet, private, and unassuming. Secular works that contained stories of real human relationships.