Posts Tagged ‘Rijksmuseum’

Exact location of Vermeer’s Little Street finally discovered?

November 19th, 2015

little-street-new-700-bis

from:
Janene Pieters, “Mystery of world-famous Vermeer setting finally solved”
Nov. 19, 2015
NLTIMES.NL
http://www.nltimes.nl/2015/11/19/mystery-of-world-famous-vermeer-setting-finally-solved/

The century-old mystery of the exact location of Johannes Vermeer’s painting Little Street, has finally been solved. The setting for the world-famous painting is on Vlamingstraat in Delft, where houses 40-42 now stand.

This extraordinary revelation was made by Dr. Frans Grijzenhout, professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum announced on Thursday.

Grijzenhout searched 17th-century records in the Delft archives and found the conclusive answer in The file of the deep waters within the city of Delft from 1667, also called the Register of the quayside fee. This register kept record of how much tax everyone who owned a house on a canal in Delft had to pay for the deepening of the canal and for maintenance of the wharf in front of his door. It contains detailed, accurate up to 15 cm, information on the breath of all the houses and ports on the Delft canals in Vermeer’s time.

The two houses that then stood on Vlamingstraat where numbers 40-42 are now located, completely correspond with The Little Street. No other houses from Vermeer’s time correspond so exactly.

The research also revealed that Vermeer’s aunt—the widow Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, Vermeer’s father’s half-sister —lived in the house on the right side of the painting. Vermeer’s mother and sister lived on the same canal, diagonally across the street. According to the Rijksmuseum, it is therefore likely that Vermeer knew the house well and had personal memories linked to it.

“The answer to the question of where Vermeer’s Little Street is located, is of great significance and will have profound consequences, bot for the way we look at this one painting by Vermeer as well as for the image we have of Vermeer as an artist”, said Pieter Roelofs, curator of 17th-century paintings at the Rijksmuseum.

To celebrate theLittle Street’s address being found, the Rijksmuseum is dedicating an exhibition to the discovery. The exhibition will be in the Rijksmuseum between November 20th of this year and March 13th, 2016.

TRIPE GATE
from the Rijksmuseum website:

The houses now on the site were built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The only aspect that can still be recognized as it appears in The Little Street is the striking gate and passageway on the right. The investigation also revealed that the house on the right in The Little Street belonged to Vermeer’s widowed aunt, Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, his father’s half-sister. She earned her living and provided for her five children by selling tripe, and the passageway beside the house was known as the Penspoort—Tripe Gate.

Google Art Project presentation:
https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/sgLy5pT_lFc9IQ?projectId=art-project&position=0%3A0

Rijksmuseum presentation:
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/vermeers-the-little-street-discovered

A special exhibition about the newly found location of Vermeer’s Little Street will be held in two venues:

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
20 November 2015-13 March 2016

Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft
25 March-17 July 2016

Patrick van Mil, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft, says “This offers the opportunity to put Delft on the map as the Vermeer City. With new routes through the city, a special virtual reality App, Vermeer packages etc. We bring the Vermeer of Delft for the visitors to life. To achieve this we are looking for cooperation with various parties such as the Oude Kerk, the Vermeer Centre, TU Delft, Delft Marketing and business. Together we can develop an attractive program whereby Delft would again be dominated by Johannes Vermeer and ‘The Little Street’, Delft, Vermeer and Vermeer’s Delft!”

New Vermeer Publication

August 7th, 2013
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (Rijksmuseum publication)
by Gregor J.M. Weber
64 pages full-colour, paperback, 18×11 cm
Dutch and English
2013

Don’t have any information but the Rijksmuseum has published (in Dutch and English) a 64-page full color booklet by Gregor Weber on Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. Should be very interesting.

click here to order.

Taco Dibbits’ words of wisdom

June 3rd, 2013

Of all the digital image policies of the world’s great art collections, the Rijksmuseum‘s clearly make most sense.

“We’re a public institution, and so the art and objects we have are, in a way, everyone’s property…” “‘With the Internet, it’s so difficult to control your copyright or use of images that we decided we’d rather people use a very good high-resolution image of the Milkmaid from the Rijksmuseum rather than using a very bad reproduction…”

Taco Dibbits (director of collections at the Rijksmuseum)

Read this NYT article for more information.

Amen.

Johannes Vermeer home again

April 13th, 2013
rijksmuseum_opening

Cheered by thousands, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reopened today her country’s national museum after a 10-year renovation. And after years of whizzing around the world, the four Rijksmuseum Vermeers have finally come home for a much needed rest. Actually, the Milkmaid and Little Street logged only one trip aboard each, but the Woman in Blue Reading a Letter made a last minute trip around the globe while the travel lof of the Love Letter is too long to list (if you are up to this kind of thing I keep track of all Vermeer exhibitions here). Sending Vermeer’s Woman in Blue to Japan funded a highly detailed catalogue of Dutch Golden Age paintings, a three-volume set on artists born between 1600 and 1630. Meanwhile, the spectacular online database featuring 280,000 objects, half with accompanying images, has been completed.

The renovation of the Rijksmuseum took twice as long as expected and costs rose much higher than planned. Among the glitches, designers had to grapple with asbestos and the obligation to incorporate an existing bike path into their design. Administrators hope to double the attendance from one million pre-restoration visitors per year, to two million.

New high-resolution image of Vermeer’s recently restored Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

October 19th, 2011

CLICK HERE  to access high resolution image

The Rijksmuseum has updated their hi-res image of the Woman in Blue Reading a Letter after its recent restoration. At first sight it looks a bit disjointed as pictures always do after restoration. The whole much cooler in hue now the long winding scarf-like piece of cloth on the table, once fairly muddled, can be made out a bit better recalling a similar scarf-like object that drapes down in the Art of Painting. The figure has gained much force and now stands out of the picture more than it did before the dark, yellow varnish was removed. The painting now appears to have greater spatial resonance and sense of volume.

Some color can be made out in the map as well as a few topographical features which had been overpainted. A row of discreet brass buttons with tiny highlights now run along the side of the foreground chair which had been completely obscured by retouches.

A not-very-special special and a digital gem

March 20th, 2009
threevermeers

The Rijksmuseum has developed a webspecial to flank their temporary exhibition of Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Balance normally housed at the NGA.  It briefly investigates 3 aspects of Vermeer’s painting with comparative details of the Milkmaid (Rijksmuseum), Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (Rijksmuseum) and the Woman Holding a Balance (NGA). This special is nothing special, mind you, even though it might  interest those who tip their  toes into the water for the first time.

Lest one be disappointed at a missed chance (the code and text of the project must not have required more than a few hours to put together) visitors should remember that the Rijksmuseum offers a great deal when compared with other museums which house Vermeer paintings, especially, if you know where to dig. The quality digital scans of the museums’s holdings plus the depth of collection information can be daunting. Compare for example, the digital scans of the two Vermeers in the London National Gallery which cannot be downloaded by the viewer and bear unsightly watermarks capable of souring even the staunchest Vermeer devotee.

No doubt, the best part of this special are the downloadable images readily accessible on the press release page. In particular, the hi-resolution image Woman Holding a Balance is so accurate in color and exposition that it easily betters any printed image I have ever seen, a digital gem of sorts. The shot of the exhibition installation with the Milkmaid, Woman Holding a Balance and Woman in Blue Reading a Letter is moving (see  image above photo: Jeroen Swolfs) if one recalls the time the Milkmaid and Woman Holding a Balance were hung together in Amsterdam in 1696 (see the post on the exhibition below).

Following the Rijksmuseum’s policy, the downloads are free for everyone and require no sworn oaths or bureaucratic sign-ups. Their heart is in the right place.

webspecial:
http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/vermeer?lang=en

press release and images of the paintings on display:
http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/pers/tentoonstellingen/vermeer?lang=en

Woman Holding a Balance travels to the Rijksmuseum

February 23rd, 2009
balance

Woman Holding a Balance
11 March to 1 June 2009
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Vermeer’s Milkmaid and Woman Holding a Balance will be temporarily reunited in Amsterdam after 300 years. Vermeer devotees will recall that these two paintings were auctioned off there to the same buyer at the Dissius sale of 21 Vermeer paintings in 1696, 21 years after the artist had died.

Both works achieved handsome sums, 175 and 155 guilders respectively, inferior only to the much larger View of Delft at 200. Let’s remember that the average Dutch worker’s wage was something like 500 to 700 guilders per year.

The man who was willing to pay the price, Isaac Roooleuw, a Mennonite merchant, clearly knew what he was getting. He was a painter. However, Roooleuw enjoyed them very little since five years later he was forced to sell them by foreclosure, each to a different buyer.

Although these works are divergent in theme and technique and were made years apart, I can’t think of a more revealing couple in all of Vermeer’s oeuvre. The Milkmaid is the personification of earthly sunlight. The Woman Holding a Balance, on the other hand, possesses a moon-like splendor that when observed directly, eclipses even it own complicated allegorical structure. The viewer has the sensation that it is possible to physically penetrate the space of picture’s crystal-clear penumbra had it not been for the sacral figure of the young woman who waits for her scales to  balance.

I do hope that they will be displayed in close proximity.

Damien Hirst (& Johannes Vermeer) at the Rijksmuseum

January 6th, 2009

Gary Schwartz, one of the most knowledgeable experts of Dutch 17th c. art, briefly mulled over the fashion of major museums who lend themselves to the cause of contemporary artists like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. Read his article.

Like it or not, Hirst sealed a pact with the Rijksmuseum  (where four of Vermeer’s works are permanently housed) to exhibit his world-famous diamond encrusted skull along with the artist’s personal selection of sixteen 17th-century paintings from the Rijksmuseum collection.

Not content, the Rijksmuseum also dedicated a special website to Hirst’s work that must have been meant to work somewhat like a lighten rod. It democratically invites all opinion to efficiently channel the negative away. And, yes, in a clean hi-tech way.

I propose Vermeer’s macabre passage above (a detail of his Allegory of Faith) hoping it might constitute proof he was on par with his English colleague at least is one respect. Most of us know that Vermeer died penniless … and as Marcel Proust wrote,“ obliged to begin over again a score of times a piece of work the admiration aroused by which will matter little to his worm-eaten body.”

Hirst need not tremble for his own fate, costing £14 million to produce, his skull was sold to anonymous investors for its asking price of £50 million, the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist.