Essential Vermeer Newsletter no. 8

March 21, 2004

Essential Vermeer Website Additions

Interview with JØRGEN WADUM (Chief Conservator of the Mauritshuis)

In this interview. Mr. Wadum discusses at length various facets of Vermeer's painting technique and materials and compares them to those of Vermeer's contemporaries. Mr. Wadum also considers his technical and visual findings in the light of Vermeer's patronage as well as in relation to various aspects of dating and authenticity of the artist's known works. He briefly describes his personal experiences having restored the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Mr. Wadum is the chief conservator of the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis in The Hague. Through both his practice as conservator and his writings, he has made significant contributions to our understanding of Vermeer's art. He headed the restoration project of The Girl with a Pearl Earring and the View of Delft in 1994 and personally restored The Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Click here for interveiw.

Glossary of Terms Used in the Essential Vermeer Website

This four part glossary contains almost 150 art terms which are used throughout the Essential Vermeer website. Many of the terms are related also to Dutch art of the seventeenth century and in particular to the work of Vermeer. Each of the four sections of the glossary can be accessed from the top of every page on the web. In the near future, each word in the site's text which is listed in the glossary will be signaled by a small Vermeer monogram that will link directly to that term.

Click here for glossary.

Exhibitions

Love Letters: Dutch Genre Painting in the Age of Vermeer
curated by Peter C. Sutton
Bruce Museum of Art of Art and Sciences
January 31, 2004- May 2, 2004

Exclusive showing in the United States

From the museum press release of 11 April 2003;
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, is organizing an exhibition entitled Love letters: Dutch paintings of letter themes in the age of Vermeer in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Comprised of approximately 45 paintings drawn from European and American collections, the show examines the sudden interest among Dutch painters in scenes involving letters, their writing, dictation, delivery and reception. Among the masterpieces on display in the American showing at the Bruce Museum will be one of Vermeer's late masterpieces, A Lady Woman Writing a Letter with Her Maid.

Never before has an exhibition been organized that explored this theme exclusively, and presented such a variety and range of works to illustrate for the public how genre painting reflects important developments in Dutch history and culture. In addition, the exhibition brings to America works of art from public and private collections throughout the world, including from such venerable Dutch collections as the Rijksmuseum and The Mauritshuis.

A broad range of educational programming will accompany the exhibition, including lectures by leading scholars in the field of seventeenth-century Dutch art and culture, Family Day events, studio classes for children, and guided tours for youth and adults. The Museum anticipates over 50,000 people will attend the exhibition and related programming during its run in Greenwich.

Bruce Museum of Art of Art and Sciences
http://www.brucemuseum.org/
Connecticut, U.S.A.

Admission to The Love Letter exhibition is an additional $10 for non-members, $5 for Museum members. Admission on Tuesdays remains free to all.

Jan Vermeer: The Procuress: A studio exhibition to mark the restoration of the painting.
Curated by Uta Neidhardt
October 22, 2004 - January 2, 2005
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Dresden

T: +49 351 491 4622
F: +49 351 491 4616
E: gam@sk-dresden.de

The Glory of the Baroque
1 March 1 - Sept. 6, 2004
Mississippi Arts Pavilion, Jackson Mississippi.

An Exhibition with Vermeer's early work The Procuress

The exhibition will consist of more than 400 magnificent works from the State Art Collections Dresden and reflects Baroque art during the time of August the Strong and his son August III, electors of Saxony and kings of Poland The Procuress, one of two paintings by Vermeer in the Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden, has only been displayed once previously in the United States, in 2001, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the exhibition Vermeer and the Delft School which attracted 554,287 visitors. The Procuress is the first painting by Vermeer ever exhibited in the American South. The painting will undergo a one-year major restoration, the first since 1956 when it was in the Soviet Union.

Among the highlights of this exhibition are Rembrandt's Samson Proposing the Riddle at the Wedding Feast, Peter Paul Rubens' Diana's Return from the Hunt, Andrea Mantegna's Holy Family and Lucas Cranach the Elder's Adam and Eve.

Carl Fabritius (1622–1654)
The Mauritshuis, the Hague
25 September 2004-9 January 2005

Carel Fabritius, a pupil of Rembrandt, was undoubtedly one of the most ingenious and versatile painters of the Dutch seventeenth century. His work had a decisive influence on Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch and Emanuel de Witte. The explosion of the municipal arsenal in Delft in 1654 not only took the painter's life but destroyed many of his work as well. Masterpieces such as The Goldfinch, The Sentry and the View in Delft, with a musical instrument seller's stall rank among the most handsome and famous of Dutch paintings. Fabritius' complete (modest) oeuvre will be brought together in cooperation with the Staatliches Museum in Schwerin.

With a catalogue.

Gerard te Borch
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
November 7, 2004 - January 30, 2005

museum information:

Gerrit ter Borch is one of the most celebrated of all seventeenth-century Dutch painters, yet remarkably, no exhibition in the United States has ever focused on his work. To assess his important oeuvre, the American Federation of Arts and the National Gallery of Art are organizing an exhibition of this great master's paintings. Gerard ter Borch will comprise approximately forty-five paintings, including Ter Borch's most striking early pictures from the 1630's, the mid-career genre paintings for which he is most famous.

This exhibition will not only give museum visitors in the United States their first opportunity to see a broad overview of Ter Borch's work, but will also result in the first major English-language publication on the artist. The exhibition catalogue, to be published by the American Federation of Arts and the National Gallery of Art, will include an essay by Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr, Curator of Northern Baroque Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, on Ter Borch's life and work; a study of the modernity of Ter Borch's paintings by Alison McNeil Kettering, Professor of Art History at Carleton College; and an examination of Ter Borch's painting technique by Arie Wallert, Conservator of Paintings at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. In addition, each painting in the exhibition will be illustrated and discussed in a separate entry.

National Gallery of Art
Constitution Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20565
USA

T: +1 202 737 4215
E: der-info@nga.gov

other venues:
Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts (28 February-22 May 2005).

Publications

Love Letters: Genre painting in the Age of Vermeer
Peter C. Sutton, Lisa Vergara and Ann Jensen Adams, with contributions by Jennifer M. Kilian and Marjorie E. Wieseman,
London (Frances Lincoln)
2003
( ISBN 0-7112-2338-6 (hardbound), 0-9720736-6-3 (paperbound) 208 page)s

The catalogue will investigate the contextual relationship of the letter theme to such cultural developments as the spread of literacy, the establishment of a reliable and widespread postal delivery system, the rise of an epistolary literature, and the importation and translation of letter writing manuals. From Westerbaen's translation into Dutch of Ovid's Heroides to the multiple French and Dutch editions of Puget de la Serre's Secrétaire à la Mode (the most popular letter writing manual of the seventeenth century), the literature of the period attests to the allure and mystique of letter writing.

Multi-Media

In March, 2004 Radio Netherlands World Service will focus on Delft and Vermeer in a two part radio broadcast interview with Anthony Bailey, Philip Steadman and Kees Kaldenbach, recorded in 2004.After the broadcast date the programme will be available in MP3 format on the web site by Kaldenbach: www.johannesvermeer.info

Carel Fabritius' The Goldfinch has recently been restored by the Mauritshuis restoration department in the anticipation of a important 2004 exhibition (see above) in the Mauritshuis. The conservator's work has been partially captured in weekly reports films which can be accessed at:
http://www.mauritshuis.nl/english/index_puttertje_explorer.html

Week 1: Removal of the varnish
Week 2: Removal of the old overpaintings
Week 3: Technical analysis
Week 4: Application of new varnish

A side by side comparison of the painting before and after the restoration demonstrates the artist's vibrant palette which has made this incredibly simple work one of the most fascinating masterworks of the well know but little understood Dutch master.

AN EXTRA LARGE HIGH DEFINITION IMAGE OF Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring

The web site "Memory of the Netherlands" is a vast digitalization project of the Royal Dutch Library - now well on its way. I would like to point out some great possibilities. By now all of the Mauritshuis Vermeer paintings - and all other paintings by other artists prior to 1800 - are available in all sizes, including an extra large size for teaching presentation and for research purposes, or just for eye candy.

This is a 10 step list how to go about for getting them:

click http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl
then click the EN for English (this toggle is on the right hand side) if text is in Dutch
then click the red bars for Collections
then scroll down and go to Mauritshuis (Girl with a Pearl Earring logo)
then click search (on the left hand side menu)
in "Who" fill in Vermeer
click the top painting "gezicht op Delft"= View of Delft
go to dropdown menu "select size" for Extra Large
click your mouse to save image to your disk

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