There she goes again

November 24th, 2009

Like it or not, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring is in for another lengthy hike. This time, she’s back to Japan.

On 27 October, 2009, the directors of the Mauritshuis and media company Asahi Shimbun have agreed to organize a traveling exhibition of major works of art from the Mauritshuis in 2012. It is anticipated that over forty works from The Hague will be exhibited in Tokyo and subsequently in Kobe. Amongst the works included are well-known paintings, such as the Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer and the late Self-Portrait by Rembrandt.

The museum will tour a selection of its rich collection during the renovation of the historic building known as the Mauritshuis. This extensive renovation requires the closure of the museum for the public. The View of Delft will remain at the Mauritshuis.

One Response to “There she goes again”

  1. ARech

    Some new details: The Mauritshuis will close from 2012 to c. mid-2014 (planned).
    The building will be extended by a subterranean foyer and a new side to the opposite building
    of the ‘Nieuwe of Litéraire Sociëteit de Witte’, Plein 26, providing more space for exhibitions and educational activities. A picture of the planned model is to be seen here:

    The ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, centerpiece of the extensive loan of 50 masterpieces from the Mauritshuis will first go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (July to September 2012) and then to the City Museum Kobe (October to December 2012). A slightly smaller group of works will later touring to several US venues.

    Vermeer’s ‘View of Delft’ (and perhaps his ‘Diana and Her Companions’, too) will be displayed in the nearby Haags Historisch Museum, together with others of the ‘Top Ten’ of Mauritshuis, such as Rembrandt’s ‘Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp’ or Paulus Potter’s ‘The Bull’.

    Apart from the various serious risks of such a far distance loan of a remarkable number of invaluable paintings, the loan to the Kobe Museum seems to imply a special risk, as art historian and Vermeer-expert Martin Bailey explains in his recent article in The Art Newspaper (23 Sept. 2010). In 2004, Vermeer’s most fragile ‘Art of Painting’ (Vienna) was on loan in the Kobe Museum but appeared to have suffered there from considerable fluctuations of the exhibition room’s daily temperature. Read the entire article here:

    Although a group of staff members of the Mauritshuis visited the Kobe museum in 2009 and were “entirely satisfied” with the museum’s conditions there remain similar questions as with the case of the prohibited loan of ‘Art of Painting’ to the large ‘Vermeer and the Delft Style’-exhibition 2008 in Tokyo. Is it right to send irretrievable age-old paintings, sometimes of critical condition, as “ambassadors” around a world full of incredible danger, only to raise money for the museum’s chronically restricted budget resp. its modernisation (s.a. the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)? What is the price the paintings have to pay at the end?? The ‘Art of Painting’ case should be understood as a serious warning.

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