First broadcast: 2003.
Johannes Vermeer is one of our favourite painters, with his Girl with a Pearl Earring now deemed the 'Mona Lisa of the North'. But little is known about his life and for almost two centuries he was lost to obscurity.
Andrew Graham-Dixon, travelling to Vermeer's hometown of Delft and a dramatic Dutch landscape of huge skies and windmills, embarks on a detective trail to uncover the life of a genius in hiding.
Renowned for painting calm and beautiful interiors, the real life of Vermeer was marred by crime and violence. His life was a bid to escape the privations of his family and yet even a glamorous marriage and artistic success failed to save him from the fate he dreaded more than any other.