Woman in Blue to be restored

March 13th, 2010

The Rijksmuseum has just announced that as a part of an ambitious conservation program Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter will be thoroughly restored.

Other than Vermeer’s masterwork, other pieces will restored and ready for the 2013 reopening of the Rijksmuseum. They include Six burial figures from the T’ang Dynasty, a mahogany period room from 1748 called The Beuning room, and the Silver table ornament by Jamnitzer which is one of the absolute highlights of the museum’s collection of European silversmither.

from the Rijksmuseum website:

As it is flanked in the exhibition room by Vermeer’s two other masterpieces, The Milkmaid and The Little Street, it is even more noticeable that Woman in Blue Reading a Letter is in distinct need of restoration. The coat of varnish has turned yellow, the blue is worn, the uneven layer of paint is peppered with minor irregularities, the retouches have faded, etc. Precisely that which is so appealing in Vermeer’s paintings – i.e. the bright colours and the incidence of light – is now hidden behind an irregular yellowed layer of varnish.

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