Posts Tagged ‘Vermeer exhibition’

Surprise exhibition of Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter in Minneapolis

February 7th, 2015

January 16 – May 3, 2015
Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Cargill Gallery)
Minneapolis, Minn.
price: free of charge

“On Vermeer’s Woman Reading a Letter: A Q&A with MIA’s Patrick Noon”
by Pamela Espeland

Lawrence Weschler | “Posers: Marvel, Majesty and Sovereignty among the Habsburgs and in Vermeer”
Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm

With one of the world’s finest Vermeer paintings presently residing at the MIA alongside a magnificent exhibition of Habsburg splendors, Lawrence Weschler will unpack a posit about posing and the posed. Kings, queens, noblemen, and noblewomen are continually striking a pose, but who exactly is posing whom (and what?) when a painter attempts to capture that stance? And what was Vermeer up to when he set about capturing something altogether new and different in his portraits? In other words, what does it mean to be sovereign—sovereign over what, in whose eyes, and to what end?

Lawrence Weschler is director emeritus of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU and author of such books as Vermeer in Bosnia and Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder.

$10; $5 MIA members; free for Paintings Affinity Group members. To register, call (612) 870-6323 or reserve online.

Vermeer going #2

May 18th, 2013

Part of the reason why Vermeer’s Woman with a Lute is not anyone’s darling is that the picture shows its age: it has been rubbed, scrubbed and pretty well deprived of nuance anyone would expect of a Vermeer. It is a bare-bones canvas, a sea of brackish browns and unattractive grays with only a lick or two of what anyone would call color. Moreover, the young lutenist is no Hollywood starlet. She is “mousey,” if you like the picture, or “homely” to downright “ugly” if you don’t. Visitors at the MET nod at her respectfully— she is after all a Vermeer— but quickly move on to one of the museum’s more amenable images.

Oddly, I have always found it one of Vermeer’s most moving canvases. Caught between a spacious map of Europe, a massive oak table and a hanging slate blue curtain, the girl’s lute turns one way and her face another in search of something the painter does not reveal. To those few attuned to the picture and able to set aside its pitiful state of conservation, it coveys a sense of hope, of searching for something of great value, but also of potential loss.

When the Woman with a Lute came to Rome last year I counted on renewing our dialogue but didn’t expect to receive anything more than what I had already gotten although the passing of time frequently allows us to see new things in familiar pictures. On this rendezvous, I was particularly struck by the monochrome map which I hadn’t thought about too intensely because I had always taken it primarily as a compositional device, a means for focusing the viewer’s attention on the girl or, perhaps, an allusion to her fanciful dreams of a faraway land or a faraway man. As coincidence has it, the map features Italy, the country where the picture was for the moment being exhibited for the first time after it left Vermeer’s easel.

As I stood in front in front of my favorite Vermeer girl (love is blind) and her big brown map of Europe I could not help but wonder what the artist thought of as he sat on a wooden stool and carefully painted the Italian shoreline. What did he know about Italy? How many Italians had he met? Who were his favorite Italian painters? Was he familiar with Petrarchan love poetry? Had he ever desired to visit Rome or Venice or was he, like his most illustrious colleagues Rembrandt and Frans Hals, content to remain where he were born? Or perhaps, for the painter the Italian coastline was just a boot-shaped contour to be rendered as accurately as possible with a fine brush and a bit of black and raw umber. One thing is almost certain, he could have never foreseen that 350 years later more than 300,000 Italians would have queued up in Rome, the heart of the grandiose Italian Renaissance, to see his meek little girl.

Click here for a high-resolution image of the painting.

Vermeer’s early Christ in the House of Martha and Mary to be exhibited in Italy

January 4th, 2012

Da Vermeer a Kandinsky. Capolavori dai musei del mondo a Rimini
Jan. 21 – June 3, 2012
Castel Sismondo
Piazza Malatesta
47900 Rimini, Italy

Vermeer’s Girl with a Glass of Wine on exhibition in Kassel

November 9th, 2011

Light Structure – The Light in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
18 November 2011 – 26 February 2012
Museum Hessen Kassel

Seventy superb works from the Baroque age of painting will be displayed in the upcoming exhibition Light Structure: The Light in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, in William Castle Museum in Kassel. The exhibition will address one of the most notable aspects of European painting: the translation of light in painting. Attempts on the part of painters to render the myriad effects of light with paint were paralleled by intense scientific research on light.

In cooperation with the Berlin research group Historical Light Structure ( the exhibition examines the different aspects of light painting in the 17th century on the basis of paintings, graphics and optical devices, also in view of the contemporary scientific treatises. The starting point is the art of the 15th and 16 Century and the fundamental innovations of Caravaggio. North of the Alps have been taken including those of Utrecht artists like Gerard van Honthorst and developed.

Different areas of the exhibition are dedicated to the particular diversity and range of Dutch paintings of light, including day light, nocturnal landscapes, interior and portrait paintings. Vermeer’s Girl with a Glass of Wine will be one of the principal works of the exhibition.

museum website:

Vermeer exhibition catalogue

October 16th, 2011

Human Connections in the Age of Vermeer
by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.  and Danielle H.A.C. Lokin
Scala Publishers Ltd

This book focuses on the many forms of communication that existed in seventeenth-century Dutch society between family members, lovers, and professional acquaintances, both present and absent. The forty-four carefully selected Dutch genre paintings include major works by many of the finest masters of the period, including Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu. Vermeer’s three masterpieces about love letters form the core of the exhibition as they are profound examples of the power of communication. Dutch artists of the seventeenth century portrayed the wide range of emotions elicited by the various forms of communication, not only in the manner in which they render gestures and facial expressions of personal interactions, but also in the ways in which they show men and women responding to the written word. The painters often introduced objects from daily life that had symbolic implications, among them musical instruments, to enrich the pictorial narratives of their scenes. Published in conjunction with the exhibition Communication: Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer  (2011-2012), which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the diplomatic exchanges between Japan and the Netherlands, this book connects the pictorial and the literary aspects of Dutch cultural traditions during the Golden Age.

Vermeer Lectures in Cambridge for Vermeer’s Women exhibition

October 16th, 2011

The Fitzwilliman Museum offers  a series of free public lectures to accompany the exquisite exhibition that features four Vermeer paintings including the masterful Music Lesson (rarely on public display) and the Louvre Lacemaker.

All talks are on Friday, 13:15 – 14:00

28 October-2011
Love for sale in the 17th century: Secrets of the oldest profession.
Colin Wiggins, The National Gallery

18 Novermber-2011
The Rediscovery of Vermeer and the reception of genre painting.
Dr Merideth Hale, History of Art Deprartment, University of Cambridge

Vermeer’s Women exhibition catalogue

October 15th, 2011

Vermeer’s Women: Secrets and Silence
by Marjorie E. Wieseman, Mr. Wayne Franits & H. Perry Chapman
224 pages, Yale University Press

product description from

Focusing on the extraordinary Lacemaker from the Musée du Louvre, this beautiful book investigates the subtle and enigmatic paintings by Johannes Vermeer that celebrate the intimacy of the Dutch household. Moments frozen in paint that reveal young women sewing, reading or playing musical instruments, captured in Vermeer’s uniquely luminous style, recreate a silent and often mysterious domestic realm, closed to the outside world, and inhabited almost exclusively by women and children.

Three internationally recognized experts in the field explain why women engaged in mundane domestic tasks, or in pleasurable pastimes such as music making, writing letters, or adjusting their toilette, comprise some of the most popular Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century. Among the most intriguing of these compositions are those that consciously avoid any engagement with the viewer. Rather than acknowledging our presence, figures avert their gazes or turn their backs upon us; they stare moodily into space or focus intently on the activities at hand. In viewing these paintings, we have the impression that we have stumbled upon a private world kept hidden from casual regard.

The ravishingly beautiful paintings of Vermeer are perhaps the most poetic evocations of this secretive world, but other Dutch painters sought to imbue simple domestic scenes with an air of silent mystery, and the book also features works by some of the most important masters of 17th-century Dutch genre painting, among them Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolaes Maes, and Jan Steen.

Vermeer’s Lover Letter goes to Russia

October 15th, 2011

Love Letter by Vermeer. From the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
In the Masterpieces from the World`s Museums in the Hermitage series
14 October – 6 November 2011
Italian Cabinet (233), New Hermitage
St Petersburg

Thanks to the long-term cooperation between the State Hermitage and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam the visitors can see today the famous Love Letter, a masterpiece by Johannes  Vermeer  from the collection of the Dutch museum, in one of the Hermitage rooms.

Miyagi Museum of Art dates cleared up for Vermeer exhibition

May 18th, 2011

Other than the previously announced (see entry below for details) world premiere of Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter after its restoration, Lady Writing and the Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid will be a part of the exhibition Communication: Visualizing Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer in Japan. Here are the final dates.

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto:   25 June – 16 Oct 2011
Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai:     27 Oct-2011 – 12 Dec 2011
The Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo:    23 Dec – 14 March 2012

Not one, but three Vermeers go to Japan

May 1st, 2011

The Japanese exhibition, Communication: Visualizing Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer (curated by Arthur Wheelock) will feature three excellent Vermeers: Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (Rijksmuseum), A Lady Writing (National Gallery of Art)   and Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid (National Gallery of Ireland)  plus over forty other paintings. All three Vermeer’s will travel to all three venues, Kyoto, Tokyo and Sendai.  There will also be an English edition catalogue (Human Connections in the Age of Vermeer) published by Scala in addition to the Japanese language catalogue.

first venue:
Kyoto Municipal Museum, Kyoto
June 25 – October 16, 2011

second venue:
Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo
December 23, 2001 – March 14, 2012

to be announced:
The Miyagi Museum of Art
34-1 Kawauchi-Motohasekura, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi