Posts Tagged ‘National Gallery’

Vermeer again star of the silver screen

September 1st, 2013
vermeer_music_film

Vermeer and Music
In cinemas worldwide on October 10 & varying dates

The National Gallery, London, is offering a fresh look at one of the most startling and fascinating artists of all – Johannes Vermeer, painter of the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring. The National Gallery has chosen to focus on Vermeer’s relationship with music. It is one of the most popular themes of Dutch painting and reveals an enormous amount about the sitter and the society they lived in. New research, revealed for the first time at this exhibition, shows how his technique and materials affected his works.

Tim Marlow, a British writer, broadcaster and art historian best known for his regular feature on Channel Five – Marlow On Style, goes beyond the exhibition to tell the entire story of Vermeer’s life – and, in doing so, shows in HD detail many other of the artist’s captivating works.

To book tickets go to the the find-a-venue page.

Vermeer and Technique: a National Gallery web study

September 1st, 2013
vermeer-eye

Click here to discover the techniques and materials behind four of Vermeer’s music-themed paintings on display in the exhibition Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure.

Illuminating and richly illustrated. All articles are authored by the National Gallery’s Helen Howard, Scientific Officer – Microscopist; David Peggie, Scientific Officer – Organic Analyst; and Rachel Billinge, Research Associate in the Conservation department.

Topics include:

Support and ground
Infrared examination
Vermeer’s palette
Binding medium
Paint application
Secrets of the studio
Altered appearance of ultramarine
Fading of yellow and red lake pigments
Drying and paint defects
Formation of lead and zinc soaps

from the National Gallery website:
The extended loan of Vermeer’s The Guitar Player from Kenwood House enabled National Gallery researchers to analyse the painting’s materials and closely study the techniques used. The findings were compared with other late paintings by Vermeer in the National Gallery (A Young Woman Seated at a Virginal and A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal), and a slightly earlier work (The Music Lesson) kindly lent by the Royal Collection for the National Gallery’s 2013 summer exhibition Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure.

 

New Hi-Res Vermeer Images

August 2nd, 2013
detail of Johannes Vermeer's Music Lesson

After a long vacation from Italy and my computer (I never vacation from Vermeer), there is lots of catching up to do. Here’s a start for digital image fans.

In conjunction with the current Vermeer exhibition Vermeer & Music: The Art of Love & Leisure, the National Gallery has published super hi-res images of the 4 authentic Vermeers which you can access by clicking here. The Lady Standing at the Virginal, the Lady Standing at the Virginal and the Guitar Player are somewhat larger than those already on the gallery’s website but the Music Lesson is by far the best digital image of the picture now publicly available (Google’s scan of the picture is downright horrible). Also included are x-ray images of the NG works. All the images are exceptionally detailed but decidedly low in contrast. If you know the pictures well, I would imagine that a little bit of contrasting in image editor will do the trick.

In any case, the IIPMooViewer is acceptably responsive but I still prefer to have the whole image on my hard disk. This requires scores and scores of screen capturing, pasting to Photoshop and aligning (nerve-racking) and, obviously, an endless reserve of patience. If any kind soul out there knows how to sidestep this gargantuan task and download the whole images, don’t hesitate to let us all know.

Vermeer exhibition catalogue on sale

April 5th, 2013
art_of_liesure

You can currently preorder a copy of the Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure exhibition catalogue directly from the National Gallery. Price £9.99. Item will be dispatched June 2013. Click here.

View spreads of this book here (2 MB PDF)

New National Gallery website re-make

June 28th, 2009
nationalgallery

After years of stagnation, the London National Gallery has updated its internet presence.

For Vermeer enthusiasts, the re-do offers an improved zoom feature of both the Lady Seated at the Virginals and the Lady Standing at the Virginals, two late works which can be easily overlooked by newcomers.

Other than the restrained graphic re-make, someone at the National Gallery put his hand on his heart and eliminated the hideous watermarks which once “graced” these previous zoom features. If you are partial to detail (like myself) or a painter (like myself), these images provide both food for the eye and mind.

Although politics evidently constrain the gallery staff to aim their sites on the “lower” tier of museum goers (“Plan your visit here,” “Take part as a family,” “Subscribe to out Podcast link” links strategically infest the site), the textual information sorely disappoints. Do not the two ladies merit more than five bland paragraphs? Frankly, my 10-year web experience has taught me to never underestimate the inquisitiveness or intellect of the those who wish to warm up to the masterpieces for the first time. Both of these unobtrusive Vermeers have some pretty compelling stories to tell if one willing to scratch under the surface a bit.