The Rijksmuseum Brings All the Vermeers to the Yard

Wow! A forthcoming exhibition at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum will bring together 23 of the 37 known paintings by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, including The Girl with a Pearl Earring. As the museum’s website says: “Never before have so many Vermeers been brought together”.

The exhibition will include masterpieces such as The Girl with a Pearl Earring (Mauritshuis, The Hague), The Geographer (Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main), Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid (The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin) and Woman Holding a Balance (The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC).

Works never before shown to the public in the Netherlands will include the newly restored Girl Reading a Letter at the Open Window from the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden.

This page lists all of the works that will appear in the exhibition — you can click on the title of any of the artworks to see a zoomable high-resolution image of the painting, eg The Milkmaid or Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window.

Johannes Vermeer's painting, The Milkmaid

Johannes Vermeer's painting, Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window

Accompanying the exhibition is an online guided tour of Vermeer’s works, narrated in English by Stephen Fry. The History Blog raved about the tour:

This is one of the best virtual exhibitions I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of them. It is written in a personable, light-hearted style that still manages to be incredibly information-rich. The way they zoom into the detail of the paintings to illustrate the commentary is flawlessly paced and takes full advantage of the ultra-high resolution photographs. Fry explains changes Vermeer made based on the most recent imaging and research into his process. There are also annotated areas of each painting which you can click on for a shot of additional information. The notes open in windows that have click-through images, so every note is really multiple notes. Then when you’re done exploring the nooks and crannies, you click back to the main tour and the narration picks up where you left off. Whoever designed this is a content management genius, seriously.

The exhibition runs at the Rijksmuseum from February 10 to June 4, 2023 — but note that The Girl with a Pearl Earring will only be available for viewing until March 30, at which point the painting will return to Mauritshuis in The Hague. I….think I might have to get to Amsterdam to go see this?

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