ANN Jun 27, 2001

Vermeer's Delft as virtual reality



Walking though The View of Delft - on Internet

As of Tuesday, 26 June 2001 the web site of Dutch art historian Kees
Kaldenbach will feature a world premiere - an Internet QuickTime film in
which one can walk through historical artists' drawings of the area
depicted in Johannes Vermeer's 'View of Delft'. This movie is the result
of several years of multi-disciplinary co-operation and collaboration
between the author and the Delft Polytechnic University.

What sets it apart from many 3-dimension Virtual Reality films is that
the original drawings are still intact. At the Delft municipal archives
a series of scans were made from these drawings. Aided by modern image
software they were then made 3-dimensional, and a sequence created
leading from one spatial drawing into the next.

The resulting QuickTime film is unique, allowing the viewer to visit
historical 17th century Delft by entering contemporary drawings. We
begin alongside the southern defense walls, walking west into a 1695
drawing of the Rotterdam Gate by Josua De Grave. As you enter its
drawbridge note the detail in the work by Van Kessel showing the front
of this gate. Vermeer painted this massive defense gate from the south
side circa 1661.

This QuickTime movie then takes you through this gate and into Delft.
The Armamentarium, (weapon warehouse) is transformed into 3D virtual
reality, based on a historic engraving from 1667. Finally you cross the
water, turn right and approach the town facades of the great gates
depicted by De Grave. You will see the Rotterdam gate to the left, the
Schiedam gate in the middle and to the right the smaller Kethel gate.
This latter gate was the one used by people and carriages on their way
towards the harbour.

Note: It may be necessary to first download a QuickTime player from the
Internet, but this should pose no problem.

About the author

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is a Dutch art historian based in Amsterdam, The
Netherlands. Since 1975 he has focused on the 'View of Delft' as his
main topic of art historical research. He has published widely, most
recently in the catalogue of the "Vermeer and the Delft School"
exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City and the
National Gallery of Art, London. Much more information may be found on
his web sites:

Live presentation and discussion of this project by all collaborators:
Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2001,
Time: 13.00 - 14.00 hrs
Site: Industrial Design Building, Jaffalaan 9, Delft room 33.20, the ID

ANN: Vermeer's Delft as virtual reality. In:, Jun 27, 2001 (accessed Aug 16, 2022), <>.