Posts Tagged ‘Procuress’

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.

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.

Will the real Procuress please stand up?

September 29th, 2009

This week in an article by Martin Bailey, The Art Newspaper will reveal how a painting that supposedly was made by Hans van Meegeren, one of the most successful forgers of all time,  is now believed to have been painted in the 17th century.

The work in question, The Procuress, has been housed at the Courtauld Institute in London since 1960 when it given as a donation from Professor Geoffrey Webb, a specialist in historic architecture. Webb had no illusions concerning its authorship; he believed that it was a forgery by Van Meegeren recovered after the War in Van Meegeren’s chalet in Nice. Scientific examination at the Courtauld confirms that the picture could date from the 17th-century since the canvas is old but more significantly, there is no evidence that any modern pigment was used.

Two other versions of  The Procuress already are present in public museums. The first is owned by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which, however, lists it as a copy. Another emerged in 1949 from an English private collection and was auctioned at Christie’s before being bought by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Scholars now believed this one to be the original by Dirck van Baburen.

This bit of news may be relevant to Vermeer studies since it is well known that Vermeer included just such a procuress motif  in the background of two of his compositions, The Concert and the Lady Seated at the Virginals. Baburen’s Procuress, or a copy of the original, probably corresponds to one in the 1641 inventory of Vermeer’s mother-in-law, Maria Thins, described as “a painting wherein a procuress points to the hand.”