Exact location of Vermeer’s Little Street finally discovered!

November 19th, 2015

Janene Pieters, “Mystery of world-famous Vermeer setting finally solved”
Nov. 19, 2015

The century-old mystery of the exact location of Johannes Vermeer’s painting Little Street, has finally been solved. The setting for the world-famous painting is on Vlamingstraat in Delft, where houses 40-42 now stand.

This extraordinary revelation was made by Dr. Frans Grijzenhout, professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum announced on Thursday.

Grijzenhout searched 17th-century records in the Delft archives and found the conclusive answer in The file of the deep waters within the city of Delft from 1667, also called the Register of the quayside fee. This register kept record of how much tax everyone who owned a house on a canal in Delft had to pay for the deepening of the canal and for maintenance of the wharf in front of his door. It contains detailed, accurate up to 15 cm, information on the breath of all the houses and ports on the Delft canals in Vermeer’s time.

The two houses that then stood on Vlamingstraat where numbers 40-42 are now located, completely correspond with The Little Street. No other houses from Vermeer’s time correspond so exactly.

The research also revealed that Vermeer’s aunt—the widow Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, Vermeer’s father’s half-sister —lived in the house on the right side of the painting. Vermeer’s mother and sister lived on the same canal, diagonally across the street. According to the Rijksmuseum, it is therefore likely that Vermeer knew the house well and had personal memories linked to it.

“The answer to the question of where Vermeer’s Little Street is located, is of great significance and will have profound consequences, bot for the way we look at this one painting by Vermeer as well as for the image we have of Vermeer as an artist”, said Pieter Roelofs, curator of 17th-century paintings at the Rijksmuseum.

To celebrate theLittle Street’s address being found, the Rijksmuseum is dedicating an exhibition to the discovery. The exhibition will be in the Rijksmuseum between November 20th of this year and March 13th, 2016.

from the Rijksmuseum website:

The houses now on the site were built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The only aspect that can still be recognized as it appears in The Little Street is the striking gate and passageway on the right. The investigation also revealed that the house on the right in The Little Street belonged to Vermeer’s widowed aunt, Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, his father’s half-sister. She earned her living and provided for her five children by selling tripe, and the passageway beside the house was known as the Penspoort—Tripe Gate.

Google Art Project presentation:

Rijksmuseum presentation:

A special exhibition about the newly found location of Vermeer’s Little Street will be held in two venues:

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
20 November 2015-13 March 2016

Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft
25 March-17 July 2016

Patrick van Mil, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft, says “This offers the opportunity to put Delft on the map as the Vermeer City. With new routes through the city, a special virtual reality App, Vermeer packages etc. We bring the Vermeer of Delft for the visitors to life. To achieve this we are looking for cooperation with various parties such as the Oude Kerk, the Vermeer Centre, TU Delft, Delft Marketing and business. Together we can develop an attractive program whereby Delft would again be dominated by Johannes Vermeer and ‘The Little Street’, Delft, Vermeer and Vermeer’s Delft!”

Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Water Pitcher on Tour

October 29th, 2015

Vermeer and Painters of the Dutch Golden Age
October 24, 2015 – January 5, 2016
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto

from exhibition web page:
Seventeenth-century Holland’s withdrawal from religious painting to an emphasis on the appreciation of the everyday opened up a new worldview. It was not only the images of women, wives and their husbands, it was also the mothers within the interior settings and the masters of the kitchens that were painted. Furthermore, it was the fashions that colored lives in feminine cultivation and religious practices that resulted in painted works. These were the opening acts of the “world theater” of women’s entry onto the world stage. Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Water Pitcher and Rembrandt’s Verona are the highlights of this Japan premier.

Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Water Pitcher will return in Spring 2016 to the Metropolitan Museum of two other venues in Japan.

Vermeer-related publication makes National Book Awards longlist

October 16th, 2015

Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir
by Michael White


Michael Whites’s Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir made the National Book Awards longlist for Nonfiction. Finalists will be announced on October 14th, and winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on November 18th.

from publisher’s website:
A lyrical and intimate account of how a poet, in the midst of a bad divorce, finds consolation and grace through viewing the paintings of Vermeer, in six world cities. In the midst of a divorce (in which the custody of his young daughter is at stake) and over the course of a year, the poet Michael White, travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, London, Washington, and New York to view the paintings of Johannes Vermeer, an artist obsessed with romance and the inner life. He is astounded by how consoling it is to look closely at Vermeer’s women, at the artist’s relationship to his subjects, and at how composition reflects back to the viewer such deep feeling. Includes the author’s very personal study of Vermeer. Through these travels and his encounters with Vermeer’s radiant vision, White finds grace and personal transformation.

“White brings [sensitivity] to his luminous readings of the paintings. An enchanting book about the transformative power of art.”
—Kirkus Reviews) 

“… Figures it took a poet to get it this beautifully, thrillingly right.” – (
— Peter Trachtenberg

“A unique dance among genres…clear and powerful descriptions touch on the mysteries of seduction, loss, and the artistic impulse.”
— Clyde Edgerton

about the author:
Michael White is the author of four award-winning collections of poetry. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and heads the creative writing department at UNC-Wilmington.

See also the companion volume, MIchael White’s Vermeer in Hell, winner of Persea’s Lexi Rudnitsky / Editor’s Choice Award.

Original Trade Paperback / $17.95 (Can $20.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-437-9 / 192 pages / Memoir, Literature, Art History

Two Vermeer’s exhibited in special anniversary exhibition in Frankfurt

October 16th, 2015

Masterworks in Dialogue. Eminent Guests for the Anniversary
7 October 2015 – 24 January 2016
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

from the museum website:
The Städel collection looks forward to welcoming a number of international visitors on the occasion of its bicentennial. A show that has been conceived by all the Städel’s curators together will confront key works of the institution’s own holdings with masterpieces from the most renowned museums over the world.

The approximately 40 encounters of important anniversary guests with works from the Städel’s collection will not only yield insights into exciting and sometimes surprising art-historical and historical connections but also unfold a background for reassessing the Städel’s own holdings.

Among the paintings exhibited will be Vermeer’s Geographer and Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid willl be exhibited.

Vermeer’s Little Street returns to Delft in 2016

October 16th, 2015

After 320 years Vermeer’s iconic Little Street will be back to Delft. thanks a special collaboration between Delft Prinsenhof Museum and Rijksmuseum.

Patrick van Mil, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft, said the arrival of Vermeer in Delft is a dream come true: “It is wonderful that, thanks to the Rijksmuseum Vermeer is reunited with his hometown and ‘The Little Street’ returns to where it is created. Vermeer is one of the most famous painters in the world. The Little Street is a fine example of the renewal of the Delft painting in the middle of the 17th century. In combination with other Delft masterpieces in our collection, we can Prinsenhof Museum in Delft show beautifully.”

The exhibition in Museum Prinsenhof Delft is scheduled for spring 2016 in full tourist season. In cooperation with the Oude Kerk, the Vermeer Centre, TU Delft, Delft Marketing and business a sereis of intitiatives will bring back to life in Delft including new Vermeer routes through the city, a special virtual reality App and Vermeer packages.

Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter travels to Washington D. C.

October 16th, 2015

Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter from the Rijksmuseum
September 19 – December 1, 2015
National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C.
West Building, Main Floor – Gallery 50C

from the National Gallery of Art website:
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Gallery’s history-making exhibition Johannes Vermeer (1995–1996), the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is lending one of its great treasures: Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. Last seen in Washington in 1996, this luminous masterpiece has been recently restored and will hang in the Gallery’s Dutch and Flemish Cabinet Galleries alongside other works by Vermeer in the permanent collection, including Girl with the Red Hat.


Related Activities

The Vermeer Phenomenon
November 15, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Maygene Daniels (chief of Gallery Archives), Arthur Wheelock (curator of northern baroque paintings), and Deborah Ziska (chief of press and public information) give a lecture about the Vermeer exhibition’s origins, importance, popularity, and impact.

gallery talk:
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter by Johannes Vermeer
September 24–28, 30, 12:00 p.m.
October 8, 21–23, 27–29, 2:00 p.m.
West Building, Main Floor, Rotunda
Diane Arkin or Eric Denker (30 mins.)

Vermeer-related exhibition in Boston

October 16th, 2015

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
October 11, 2015 – January 18, 2016
Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)

from the CODART website:
Organized by the MFA, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes a new approach to the understanding of 17th-century Dutch painting. Included are 75 carefully selected and beautifully preserved portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections—including masterpieces never before seen in the US. The show will reflect, for the first time, the ways in which art signals the socioeconomic groups of the new Dutch Republic, from the Princes of Orange to the most indigent of citizens. Class distinctions had meaning and were expressed in the type of work depicted (or the lack thereof), the costumes, a figure’s comportment and behavior, or his physical environment. Arranged according to 17th-century ideas about social stratification, paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu, will be divided into three classes—upper, middle and lower—and further sub-divided into eight categories. A final section will explore the places where the classes in Dutch society met one another. Additionally, 45 works of decorative arts—objects used by each class but diverging in material and decoration (for example, salt cellars, candlesticks, mustard pots, linens)—will be installed in three table settings to highlight material differences among the classes. The accompanying publication features essays by a team of distinguished Dutch scholars and exhibition curator Ronni Baer, the MFA’s William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings.

Two works by Vermeer, A Lady Wring and The Astronomer, will be exhibited.

tickets information:
To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975; to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk. Tickets must be purchased prior to the start of the first session; individual sessions are not available.

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
Ronni Baer, with essays by Henk van Nierop, Herman Roodenburg, Eric Jan Sluijter, Marieke de Winkel, and Sanny de Zoete

about the curator:
from Dutch Culture USA website:
A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, Dr. Ronni Baer joined the MFA in 2000 as Senior Curator of Paintings in the Art of Europe Department. Prior to arriving in Boston, she held positions as curator, professor and researcher at numerous museums and higher learning institutions. Baer has overseen the installation of several European galleries in the Museum and was curator of the exhibitions El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III (2008), Rembrandt’s Journey: Painter | Draftsman | Etcher (co-curated with Cliff Ackley, 2004) and The Poetry of Everyday Life: Dutch Painting in Boston (2002). She was also responsible for the traveling exhibitions, Still Life from the MFA, Boston: Tradition and Innovation (2011, Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts), Five Centuries of European Portraiture (2006, Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts) and Gerrit Dou (1613-1675): Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt’ (2000), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC).

Baer completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, following her undergraduate work in French literature at Emory University (Atlanta). Baer was awarded a Getty Research Institute Guest Museum Scholarship in 2013 and received the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica from King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 2008. In addition to authoring the catalogues for the exhibitions above, she is author and editor of the catalogue for the upcoming show, Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Vermeer’s Music Lesson exhibited in London, Edinburgh and Netherlands

October 16th, 2015

Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer.
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
November 13, 2015 – February 14, 2016

all information below from the Royal Collection website:
The Dutch artists of the 17th century painted ordinary people doing everyday things. They offer us a glimpse into the rumbustious life of village taverns and peasant cottages, and the quiet domesticity of courtyards and parlours. While the subject­-matter may be ordinary—the preparation of food, eating and drinking, the enjoyment of music or a family game—the painting is rich and jewel-like, with equal attention paid to a discarded clay pipe as to a fine silk drape. The meticulously documented details often allude to a work’s deeper meaning or to moral messages that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer.

Presenting 27 masterpieces from the Royal Collection, the exhibition includes works by Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch, and Johannes Vermeer’s Music Lesson (A Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman).

opening times:
opens daily, 10:00-17:30
last admission 16:15

admission prices:
adult £10.00
concessions £9.20
under 17/disabled £5.20
under 5 free

For more details please see Royal Collection ticket pages.

Related Activities

Exhibition Talk for groups – Masters of the Everyday
Thursday, 12 November 2015 to Thursday, 11 February 2016

To enhance your group visit to Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer, book an exclusive introductory talk by a Royal Collection Trust expert in the Gallery’s Redgrave Room. After your 30-minute talk in English, your group is free to enjoy the exhibition at leisure using a complimentary audio tour. Please note Exhibition Talks are for pre-booked groups only.

duration: 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours
time: 11:00
price: adult £18.80 – over 60/student (with valid ID) £16.90 – under 17/disabled £9.30
minimum: 25
maximum: 80
location: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
essential information: Exhibition Talks can be booked on Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00.

ticket booking:

Private Evening View for groups – Masters of the Everyday Monday
16 November 2015 – Thursday, 11 February 2016

Private Evening Views can be arranged for groups to explore Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. This exclusive after-hours event offers groups the opportunity to enjoy the exhibition without the crowds. The evening concludes with a glass of wine served in the Gallery Shop. Groups may bring their own guide to interpret the exhibitions or simply explore them at leisure. Price includes a Private Evening View and a glass of wine in the Gallery Shop.

Please be aware, Private Evening Views are only available for pre-booked groups.

duration: 1 hour
time: 18:30 – 19:30
price: £35.00 per person
minimum number: 50 or booking value £1,750.
maximum number: 150.
location: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
essential information: Private Evening Views can be booked on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 18:30 during exhibitions. Please be aware the £2.00 telephone booking transaction fee is not payable on this group visit.
contact: +44 (0)20 7766 7321

Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer
Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Quentin Buvelot
Hardback, 176 pages, 289 x 233 mm, over 150 colour illustrations

During the seventeenth century, Dutch artists were unparalleled in their dedication to depicting ordinary people doing everyday things. Genre painting was the pre-eminent expression of this dedication, offering candid glimpses into the peasant cottages and village courtyards of the Dutch Golden Age, each painting lit with the period’s vibrant color palette and rich with radiant natural light.

This superb collection focuses on a selection of works of Dutch genre painting from the Royal Collection’s holdings. Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, and Pieter de Hooch are among the masters whose works are finely reproduced here. While the subject matter may be ordinary—the preparation of food, the bustle of a busy market, the enjoyment of taverns and town festivities—the meticulously documented details often allude to a work’s deeper meaning, that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer.

The book explores these hidden moral messages, as well as the artist’s penchant for clever visual puns.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor is Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, Royal Collection Trust. His previous publications include Dutch Landscapes (2010) and most recently The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714–1760 (2014).

Quentin Buvelot is Senior Curator at the Mauritshuis. His recent publications include Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals (2007) and Jacob van Ruisdael Paints Bentheim (2009).

venue two:
The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse 
March 4 – July 24, 2016

venue three:
September 29, 2016 – January 8, 2017
The Mauritshuis, The Hague

New Vermeer monograph

October 16th, 2015

by Wayne Franits
March 23, 2015

In this new monograph, the latest in Phaidon’s Art and Ideas series, Wayne Franits examines the work of Vermeer within the framework of his times, one of the most intellectually creative periods in this history of art. Written in a lively and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship on the artist, Franits provides fresh insights into many of Vermeer’s most famous works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings. All paintings by Vermeer are illustrated.

about the author:
Wayne Franits, a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, is Professor of Art History at Syracuse University, New York. His numerous publications have explored a variety of topics within the field, ranging from genre painting and portraiture to the work of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio.

also available at: amazon.com

Vermeer’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary goes to Australia

October 16th, 2015

The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland
The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
October 24, 2015-February 14, 2016

Vermeer’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary will form part of a touring exhibition of America and Australia and will return to the Scottish National Gallery in February of 2016.