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Essential Vermeer Newsletter no. 2

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January 31, 2003

Essential Vermeer Website Additions

I am very happy to have just added an exclusive interview with John Michael Montias, author of Vermeer and His Social Milieu: A Web of Social History. Prof. Montias discusses some of his thoughts behind his archival research which produced the most finely detailed and penetrating portrait of Johannes Vermeer within his own society and a deeper understanding of the man and his art. Click here to access directly the interview page.

Prof. Montias has also recently published Art at Auction in 17th Century Amsterdam, in which he investigated records of Amsterdam art auctions in the first half of the seventeenth century. A wealth of fascinating information on some 2,000 art buyers is revealed. Three chapters focus on art dealers who bought at auctions; another four chapters discuss buyers who had special connections with individual artists, including Rembrandt. As usual, Prof. Montias' writing make stimulating reading for any one interested in any facet of the Golden Age of Dutch Art.

In the News

Vermeer Restoration

Mr. Gregor J. M. Weber (Curator of Italian Paintings of the Staatliche Hunstammlingen, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden where two Vermeer's hang) has kindly informed me that there are plans to restore Vermeer's Procuress which is housed in the same museum. So far, the initial removal of the heavy yellow varnish along the right edge of the canvas where the white jug is located, has reveled a deep blue which was far less noticeable until now. After its restoration, it will most likely acquire an unexpected chromatic intensity.

Mr. Weber is the author of many important studies dealing with Vermeer's painting, the most recent being Empirie des Lichts (Experience of Light). A list of his writings can be found on Essential Vermeer Bibliography page.


Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado
February 19–18 May, 2003

Another excellent opportunity to view not only some of Vermeer's most significant works, but to compare them with other Dutch paintings of similar theme. Some of Vermeer's most important paintings such as The Art of Painting from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Woman with a Balance from the National Gallery, Washington and the Young Woman with a Water Jug from the Metropolitan Museum, New York will be on view. In all, nine paintings by Vermeer will be on exhibit. Among other painters exhibited are Gaspar Netscher, Gerard Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Gerrit ter Borch, Jan Steen, Nicolaes Maes, Van Mieris, Pieter de Hooch and Enmanuel de Witte.

Alejandro Vergara has written the exhibition catalogue in collaboration with others.

This exceptional event will certainly be worth the trip. For further information click here, then click, forthcoming openings on the bottom of the page and then on Vermeer and the Dutch Interior. Since crowds are expected it would be best to contact the museum before hand for information.

For further information consult http://museoprado.mcu.es/prado/html/exposiciones/html/i_vermeer/index.html

Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
24 and 31 December 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
(Last entry 30 minutes before closing. Visitors are requested to start vacating the galleries 10 minutes before closing)
Monday: Closed.
1 January, Good Friday, 1 May and 25 December: Closed

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