Essential Vermeer Newsletter no. 14

April 8, 2005



BBC 2 TV 7.40 p.m. GMT on Saturday 9 April, 2005
produced and Directed by Lucie Donahue

On Saturday 9 April the BBC will broadcast a special program on one of Vermeer's most profound and complex works of art, The Art of Painting which is now on exhibition at the Mauritshuis until 26 June. The work will be explored from various and intriguing angles from the its conception as a studio piece intended for prospective clients until it was bought by the twentieth century's most sinister art collector, Adolf Hitler, who regarded it as his most prized art possession.

If one might judge the line-up of contributors and from past BBC art productions, it is safe to say this program shouldn't be missed.

contributions by:
Jonathan Jones, Richard Cork, Prof. Eric Jan Sluijter, Mariët Westermann, Walter Liedtke, Dr. Marieke de Winkel, Jørgen Wadum, Robert Wald & Prof. Philip Steadman

click here BBC website news on this program

In the News


Here's a very interesting page with ample text (in Dutch only) and numerous images concerning the plans to rebuild the Delft Guild of Saint Luke by the architectural firm Molenaar & Van Winden. The new construction will be built on the Voldersgracht right on the grounds where the artist's and artisans' guild (it was demolished in mid 1800s) once stood right across from where Vermeer grew up in his father's inn, Mechelen.

Construction should begin the second half of 2005 and be finished by 2006. The new construction will serve as the Johannes Vermeer multi-media center, where, with the help of modern technology, the visitor can get to know Vermeer and his paintings. The center is aimed at both visitors from the Netherlands and from abroad. In particular, French, Japanese and American visitors are very interested in Vermeer and are always disappointed to find that there is little information about the Delft master.

The aim is to develop a network of visitor locations around the Vermeer Delft Center so that visitors can see where Vermeer and his contemporaries lived and worked. For example, in the city's Prinsenhof museum the original paintings of his contemporaries are on display and in Delft the places where he lived and worked can be visited.

The board, which oversees the whole project, however, is still lacking the final sum necessary to finance the operation which must be met by May 1, 2005. Hopes are that local companies are willing to fill this gap. The city mayor and council members will support this drive to reach the necessary figure to enrich Delft with the new Vermeer Multi-Media Center.

see also the home page about the VERMEER DELFT CENTER at:


by Robert D. Huerta
to be published August 2005

At this moment I have not be able to obtain any further information on Mr. Huerta's upcoming publication but will gladly pass it along as soon as information becomes available.

Mr. Huerta published his excellent study on Vermeer Giants of Delft. Johannes Vermeer and the Natural Philosophers: The Parallel Search for Knowledge during the Age of Discovery in 2003 and kindly accepted an interview for the Essential Vermeer website at that time.

March 2005

German translation of Luigi Guarineri's book on Han van Meegeren: La doppia vita di Vermeer.


(exhibition with Vermeer's Girl Reading an Letter at an Open Window)
March 6, 2005–May 22, 2005
Kobe, Hyogo Prefectual Museum

June 28, 2005–September 19, 2005
Tokyo, Museum of Western Art.

Together with about 250 other works of art from 7 museums of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen/State Collections of Art, Vermeer's early masterpiece Girl Reading an Letter at an Open Window and Portrait of a Lady in White' by Titian, as well as sculptures and other treasures from the museums' vast collections. will be exhibited in Japan. The exhibition is part of a so-called 'Year: Germany in Japan 2005/2006' with various cultural events including German orchestras, choirs and soloists.

Hyogo Prefectual Museum home page:

Vermeer Exhibit

More than 300 events in the fields of culture, economy and science are planned nationwide to celebrate the ``Germany in Japan 2005/2006 project, which officially starts in April. The events-with `Visions of the Divine in the Sanctuary of Art-Masterpieces of the Museum Island, Berlin as their highlight seek to deepen the trust and friendship between Germany and this country by introducing modern German life and the diversity of Germany to the people of Japan.

call the German Embassy at 03-5791-7700 or visit:

(IHT/Asahi: January 1,2005)

German site announcement

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Cente
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY
April 8–June 19, 2005

Organized by Susan Kuretsky, professor of art on the Sarah Gibson Blanding Chair at Vassar College, Time and Transformation brings together over ninety Dutch seventeenth-century paintings and works on paper from American collections in a major examination of themes dealing with the transformative effects of time and circumstance. The Dutch were fascinated with this idea and the variety of motifs used to convey it. Included in the exhibition will be images of local landscapes with medieval structures left in ruins in the wake of the Spanish wars, depictions of rustic cottages and farmhouses, Dutch Italianate landscapes with Roman ruins and representations of accidental ruins caused by flood or fire. A smaller selection of non-architectural imagery, such as vanitas still lifes and depictions of ruined trees, will encourage broader thinking on the meanings and associations of images of the fragmentary. Among the artists included are Rembrandt, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan van Goyen, Abraham Bloemaert, Willem Kalf, Gerard Dou, and Bartholomaus Breenberg.

Vassar College and the University of Washington Press will publish a major catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition Time and transformation in seventeenth-century Dutch art. Susan Donahue Kuretsky supervised the book, and also contributes the catalogue entries and an introductory overview of the subject. Essays in the catalogue are by Catherine Levesque (Associate professor of art, College of William and Mary) on 'Haarlem landscapes and ruins: nature transformed'; Walter Gibson (Professor emeritus, Case Western Reserve University) on 'Bloemaert's privies: the rustic ruin in Dutch art'; Lynn Federle Orr (Chief curator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) on 'Enhancing antiquity: the Dutch response to Roman ruins'; Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. (Curator of northern European art, National Gallery of Art) on 'Accidents and disasters in Dutch art'; and Erik Loeffler (Assistant curator, department of drawings, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague) on 'Ruins in the Netherlands: the present situation'.

web information:

opening hours:
Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 pm
Sunday 1:00–5:00 pm
the art center is closed Mondays

information line:

other venues
Sarasota, Florida, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (20 August–30 October, 2005)
Louisville, Kentucky, J.B. Speed Art Museum (15 January–15 March, 2006

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