Paardenmarkt - Vermeer/
On 12 October 1654, disaster struck in Delft: the ‘Delftse Donderslag’. Where the Paardenmarkt now stands today once stood the Kruithuis, the city’s powder magazine. The Kruithuis served as a vast warehouse for gunpowder. When the powder magazine exploded during the ‘Delftse Donderslag’, half the city ended up in ruins. A good friend of Johannes Vermeer, Carel Fabritius, lived in the Doelenstraat. Most of the people who lived in this street were amongst the dead, including Carel Fabritius.
Fabritius was one of Rembrandt’s apprentices between around 1641 and 1643. He moved to Delft in 1650, where he painted portraits, city views and his famous painting The Goldfinch. Vermeer got his inspiration in part from Fabritius’ paintings.