Posts Tagged ‘Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window’

Dresden Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister undergoes remodeling

April 4th, 2013

Since 27th March, the complete Eastern wing of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery), which includes the  Dutch/Flemish collection, wil be closed for the next years due to extensive renovation and modernization as well as to meet building codes and technological requirements.  The gallery houses two well-known paintings by Vermeer, The Procuress and the Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window. Luckily,  visitors won’t miss the key-works of the collections from the Eastern wing.

Twenty-three  rooms in the Western wing will be rehung “based on the understanding that European art history can be read as one integrated historical narrative.  The works of art will no longer be separated into traditional  “schools” but grouped according to a comprehensive art historical context.

For further information see the Dresden Art Collections’ homepage.

Vermeer under reconstruction

November 26th, 2009

My good friend Adelheid  kindly keeps me up-to-date on what is going on in Northern Europe. It seems that heavy-weight museums have recently developed a taste for physically reconstructing Vermeer’s paintings in order to draw museum-goers closer to his masterpieces (see the reconstruction of Vermeer’s Art of Painting entry below). As a painter, I whole-heartedly approve this kind of display since those who look at pictures rarely understand the complexeties making a meaningful, painted compositions from real life situation.

Here’s the news.

On 24th November, the so-called “experiment-room,” a life-size, 1:1 reconstruction of the scene in Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, was presented to the public at the Labortheater of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. Academy students and teachers developed and realized the exact replica which will later become the central part of the extensive educational program for the upcoming The Early Vermeer exhibition in its Dresden venue.

By stepping into the reconstructed room, visitors will be able to grasp more concretely Vermeer’s painting process, the manner in which employed perspective, light and shadow, whether he used a camera obscura, and above all, the his unsurpassed sense of composition.

Not only were the objects now visible in the painting faithfully replicated, but those which Vermeer had later overpainted such as a crystal goblet and a large painting of a Cupid. Thus, with a bit of imagination one can directly experience Vermeer’s “art of omitting” which transformed a somewhat theatrical scene into a more intimate one focused on the silent act reading of a letter a love letter.

The girl’s smart yellow jacket (none have survived) was recreated according to scientific research as a diploma project by students of  theatrical costume design department. On special occasions a young female student will model as the reading-girl in the scene. Otherwise life-size figure  made specifically by the students will stand in for the live model.

for an image and a short video (German text) see:

Learning to paint

November 22nd, 2009

The Young Vermeer

The Hague, Mauritshuis
May 12 – Aug 22, 2010

Dresden, Old Masters Picture Gallery
Sept 3– Dec 28, 2010

Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland
end of 2010 – Feb. 2011

Although Vermeer’s art has been consecrated by numerous special exhibitions for decades, until now, no single exhibition has focused on the myriad questions of painter’s artistic formation and early works. Hence, The Young Vermeer, which will travel from The Hague to Edinburgh and lastly to Dresden, will be the first chance to view Vermeer’s formative early works in close proximity and shall no doubt will be a milestone in Vermeer studies. All three venues feature Vermeer’s Diana and her Companions, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary and The Procuress. These three works have been completely restored so they can be appreciated in all their youthful intensity. The Dresden venue will also comprise their Girl  Reading a Letter by an Open Window.

An exhibition catalogue will provide visitors with in-depth investigation to this subject by distinguished experts of Dutch art.

The Dresden venue of the exhibition seems to be particularly rich. An ambitious educational project, based on recent investigations of the Dresden Vermeer Girl  Reading a Letter by an Open Window will include a full-scale, scientifically elaborated reconstruction of the room represented in this early masterpiece. The reconstruction will to be presented to the public next week. A website, currently under construction but already rather promising, will further explore Vermeer’s masterpiece.

Moreover, the educational project includes a 20-minute film which focused on the early Vermeer paintings and the Dresden paintings (The Procuress and Girl  Reading a Letter by an Open Window).  Numerous lectures during are planned as well as an anthology, comprehending short literary texts by different authors dealing with the Girl  Reading a Letter by an Open Window.

Due to its uniqueness, the Young Vermeer exhibition has already begun to stir international attention assuring widespread interest. As details come available, they will be reported on the Flying Fox.