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(Baptised Delft, 31 October 1632; buried Delft, 16 December 1675). Dutch painter. Among the great Dutch artists of the 17th century, he is now second in renown only to Rembrandt, but he made little mark during his lifetime and then long languished in obscurity. Almost all the contemporary references to him are in colourless official documents and his career is in many ways enigmatic. As far as is known, he lived all his life in his native Delft and rarely made even local journeys outside it.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)