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Essential Vermeer Newsletter no. 7

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December 18, 2003

Essential Vermeer Website Additions

An Interview with Vermeer scholar Albert Blankert

In this exclusive Essential Vermeer interview Albert Blankert, one of the foremost Vermeer scholars, discusses various questions regarding of interpretation, attribution and historical context of the Delft master.
Click here.


Vermeer: Master of Light
directed by Joseph J. Krakora

Vermeer: Master of Light is a visual quest in search of "what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer." It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an exploration of Vermeer's paintings and examining the "secrets" of his technique. Each frame of the film emulates the subtlety of Vermeer, with particular emphasis placed on lighting and composition. Utilizing x-ray analysis, infrared reflectography, and the power of computer technology, the program investigates what lies beneath the surface of the paintings to unveil captivating insights into the master's work.

Commentary is provided throughout the film by art experts, including Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, and professor of art history, University of Maryland; Seymour Slive, art historian, Harvard University; and David Bull, senior conservation consultant, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

The video has gained the following international recognition and prizes:

2002 - The New York Festivals - Gold Medal and Grand Award
2002 - Cine - Cine Golden Eagle Award
2002 - The International Festivals of Films on Art (Canada) - Featured in
the festival
2002 - Tely Awards - Tely Winner
2002 - Worldfest - Houston International Film Festival - Gold Special Jury
2002 - Trencianske Teplice, Slovakia - Featured in the festival
2002 - US International Film and Video Festival - Silver Screen Award
2002 - The New York Independent Film and Video Festival (LA) - Best Art
2002 - News and Documentary Emmy Awards - Graphic and Artistic Design Emmy
2002 - The Columbus International Film & Video Festival - The Silver Chris
2002 - AVICOM/ F@imp - Grand Prix Ciném'Art du Long Métrage
2003 - 25th Anniversary Classic Telly Awards - Classic Telly Winner

For further information on the video visit this site:


Kenwood House: Catalogue of Paintings in the Iveagh Bequest
by Julius Bryant
New Haven/London: Yale University Press

This book is published to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the opening of the Iveagh Bequest and is the first new catalogue of the collection to be produced in fifty years. It discusses each work, revealing details about the portrait subjects, the social circumstances of each commission, and the way that art met the ambitions of artists, patrons, sitters and collectors. There are also two introductory essays that provide historical background. Naturally, the book also includes the splendid Guitar Player by Vermeer which is one of Vermeer's most perfectly conserved paintings and is the only Vermeer in England outside the two in the National Gallery and the one in the Royal Collection.

448 pp. 200 b&w + 120 colorplates, 9 5/8 x 11 1/4
Cloth ISBN 0-300-10206-2, (434 pages)

Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting: Its Thematic and Stylistic Evolution
by Wayne Franits
New Haven/London: Yale University Press,

A large survey book of seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting (including Vermeer) that will be published by Yale University Press. It will appear in Europe this Spring, with a U.S. release scheduled for next fall.

Selected Writings on Dutch Paintings: Rembrandt, Van Beke, Vermeer and Others
by Albert Blankert
Waanders, Zwolle
February, 2004

A selection of twenty-four of Prof. Blankert's previous articles (1967–2002) concerning Dutch painting from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century (with a few from the twentieth as well) will be published in by Waanders, Zwolle. Half of them are now translated from the Dutch for the first time. The publication will have 350 pages and 350 illustrations, many of which in color.


The Dance of Geometry
a novel by Brian Howell

Brian Howell has interwoven three imagined episodes from the life of Johannes Vermeer. We observe the painter's own childhood and apprenticeship. We read a crime story involving an episode from the life of a modern-day "copyist," who is blackmailed into forging this masterpiece to save the woman he loves. We follow a French connoisseur who travels to Delft to visit Vermeer, only to find himself embroiled in a clandestine and deadly debate of the Painter's Guild about a new invention.

A recent interview with the author can be accessed at:


Love Letters: Dutch Genre Painting in the Age of Vermeer
National Gallery of Ireland
1 October–31, December 2003

The exhibition brings together over forty masterpieces drawn from the great museums of the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and the United States of America, together with works from private collections in Europe and the USA. The central theme of the exhibition is the activity of letter writing first established as a genre in its own right, by the great Dutch masters of the seventeenth century.

The paintings of Vermeer and his contemporaries still hold their fascination today, not only because of their remarkable ability as painters, but also because they stir in the onlooker a curiosity to know more about the lives and emotions of their inhabitants. Among the masterpieces on display will be Vermeer's, A Lady Writing from the National Gallery of Art, Washington and The Love Letter from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

National Gallery of Ireland
Millennium Wing,
Clare Street,
Dublin 2.

Tickets: Euro 10; Euro 6 (concessions), Euro 23 (family rate), children
under 5 yrs free
Booking is recommended. Tickets may be booked or purchased from the Gallery
Box Office, Telephone (01) 663 3513



Multimedia Center VERMEER in DELFT

From the fall of 2003 onwards the foundation "Vermeer in Delft" aims at developing a multimedia center around Vermeer and Delft.

The foundation intends to incorporate within this "Vermeer in Delft" multimedia center both a high quality and a wide array of presentation technologies, to be developed in collaboration with the Delft university of Technology (TU Delft) and other centers of learning and technology. http://www.vermeerindelft.com/.

for further information:

In the News

A large fire raged through some old houses at the Oude Langendijk in Delft on Tuesday morning October the 28th. A store which sells sports-gear, a Chinese restaurant and a lady's fashion deposit were completely destroyed. The fire-brigade had a great difficulty in getting access through the narrow streets to the centuries-old houses.

The fire raged at about thirty meters from the spot where once Vermeer's (or rather Maria Thin's house stood). At that spot, there's presently a Catholic church. The house next to Vermeer's house is still there, and was miraculously saved from the fire. The other houses (also from Vermeer's time) in the row however were lost. The facades are still there, but that's about all.

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