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“Only now”: Vermeer exhibition opens at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Girl with a Pearl Earring visited Amsterdam Photo: Rijksmuseum, Henk Wildschut

28 paintings, 10 rooms, hundreds of meters of velvet curtains. The Rijksmuseum has announced a Vermeer exhibition that it calls “Only Now” instead of “Once in a Lifetime”.

The exhibition, which opens on February 10 and runs through early June, is the National Gallery’s first retrospective of one of the country’s most celebrated painters.

It features famous images created by Delft-based 17.th Painter of the Century, The Girl with the Pearl Earring and the Milkmaid, from Dutch collections, but also on loan from France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Great Britain and the United States. They are exhibited together.

“For the first time, Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum,” said Tako Divits, president of the Rijksmuseum. “The only other [Vermeer retrospective] Thirty years ago, in 1995 and 1996, it was in Washington and the Mauritshuis, and people who saw it still rave about it…

“The 28 paintings in the 10 rooms of the Phillips Wing convincingly show the audience Vermeer’s intimacy. Never before have so many tickets been sold before an exhibition. We’re now at 200,000, and that’s not all once in a lifetime: this is now or never.’

girl with flute

The exhibition includes a controversial panel painting, Girl with a Flute. National Gallery of Washington last year announced It was downgraded to ‘Vermeer’s Studio’ because it was ‘not up to Vermeer’s standards’. However, the Rijksmuseum has backed its own assessment that it was in fact by a Dutch master, stating:Here attributed to Johannes Vermeer.’

Pieter Roelofs, director of painting and sculpture, said the two galleries had agreed to disagree for now, but hoped further research during the exhibition would bring everyone to an agreement. I expected.

“Although we were not there when it was made, our colleagues in Washington have done an incredible job of research and collaboration between conservators, curators and scientists.” “We’re seeing the same thing,” he told Dutch News. [painting]but we see something different.

“They point out features that they consider atypical, and we believe some or most of them can be found in other paintings. It’s a great game. We We agree to disagree, but we believe that by working together, we can move forward in this area.

Girl with a flute “This is by Vermeer” Photo: Rijksmuseum, Henk Wildschut


He used to paint lose a dubious position on a journey across the sea. “It’s a metaphor,” he explained. ‘But when you think about these two paintings on the panel [Girl with a Flute and Girl with a Red Hat] We consider them to be the protagonists of our research. tronnywas created for a different purpose.

‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ was a fully signed painting produced for a client. These paintings were made experimentally to study light sources from the lower right corner, playing with reflections and colors. If there are two paintings in the world that are most related to each other, they are these two.

He said that there had been much debate historically about its authenticity, but that had not been helped by years of state deterioration and restoration. I also point out that I didn’t have one. He painted in his home and died at the age of 43, leaving only 11 children.


Using the latest non-invasive techniques, the Rijksmuseum will continue to study all the paintings exhibited in Amsterdam, providing new discoveries about how Vermeer innovated in technique, materials and composition. I would like to make it public.

“It is incredible that our colleague was so generous,” Roelofs said. Collecting 80% of the works is unbelievable.

“Even Vermeer had never seen so many paintings together!”

Vermeer From February 10th to June 4th

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/now-or-never-vermeer-exhibition-opens-at-rijksmuseum/ “Only now”: Vermeer exhibition opens at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

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