Vermeer: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Exhibition08 Mar 2023
The importance of the Vermeer show at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam can't be emphasized enough. With the Delft-born and based painter leaving less than 40 works behind, it is rare for museums to lend out such prized pieces of their collections. Still, the Rijksmuseum has compiled 28 bright and colourful Vermeer paintings for this exhibition.
Preparation for this show started long before the covid pandemic as the various works took plenty of time to gather.
When the Frick Collection in NYC closed for renovation, the show's organizers were able to loan the collection's three Vermeer works and took it as a hopeful sign the show would come together.
The Rijksmuseum ended up receiving loans from the National Gallery in Scotland, the National Gallery in Ireland, the MET in NY and many other museums from across the world, from France to Japan.
The show's ultimate goal is to bring visitors closer to Vermeer, whose small oeuvre and relative obscurity while alive left much to be desired from art historians.
Head of Paintings and Sculpture and co-curator of the exhibition Pieter Roelofs said, "the mystery of Johannes Vermeer, also known as the Sphinx of Delft, has clung to the artist for more than 150 years and has become part of his reputation. Connecting what we now know about his personal life with his work brings us closer to Vermeer."
The Rijksmuseum staged the pieces in intimate sectioned-off areas tailored to each piece to achieve such a goal.
Vermeer is a blockbuster exhibition, and as such, we’ve made sure all of our members have the opportunity to get closer to the Dutch painter, regardless of whether they can make it to Amsterdam.
For those who could make it to the Rijksmuseum, we secured plenty of the tickets for the now sold-out show. And for those who couldn’t, we brought in art history expert Geraldine Bretault to give us an in-depth look into the most important exhibition of this year and perhaps many years to come.