Essential Vermeer 3.0
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Ongoing and Upcoming Vermeer-Related Events

last update: September 25, 2023

On this page are listed exhibitions, conferences, multimedia events and publications of the recent past which are related to the life and/or work of Johannes Vermeer.

Click here to see Vermeer-related events of the past.

Click here to view a sortable table of all past, ongoing and future Vermeer exhibitions.

Netherlands Film Festival

Close to Vermeer nominated at Netherlands Film Festival new logo

Suzanne Raes' documentary Close to Vermeer (Dicht bij Vermeer) has been nominated at the Netherlands Film Festival to be held in Utrecht from 22 to 29 September 2023. Close to Vermeer will be viewed on Tuesday, 26 September, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at the Louis Hartlooper Complex 3.

To purchase tickets, login here: https://www.filmfestival.nl/en/film/dicht-bij-vermeer

Close to Vermeer stands as a Golden Calf nominee (Best Long Documentary) and is also in contention for the prestigious Septimius Award (Best Feature Documentary).

Following its successful screenings in both the Netherlands and the United States, Close to Vermeer will be screened in German theaters starting this November.

Stay tuned for a comprehensive update.

Press Reviews

  • "Insightful and irresistible. A globe-trotting tale of diplomacy, a detective story and a fascinating insight into the insular world of museum curation, research and preservation, which helps keep culture alive through the march of history."
    – G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
  • "A gentle, thoughtful documentary populated by knowledgeable individuals, experts at the top of their fields who... help us to not just look at a Vermeer, but to see."
    –Sheila O'Malley, RogerEbert.com
  • "Chronicles the making of the exhibition that brought over half a million visitors to the Amsterdam museum… I felt a lot closer to the elusive Dutch master by the closing credits."
    –Maya Pontone, Hyperallergic
  • "Provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of the drama that preceded the [exhibit’s] historic run."
    –Sarah Cascone, Artnet.com
  • "Anyone who loves to spend time in a gallery simply must see this documentary. Audiences can see the textures of Vermeer and the details of his work like never before. The film is like having the closest view possible in a gallery."
    –Pat Mullen, POV Magazine
  • "Allows us to… experience [the] rich details that would not be possible in a busy museum. Cuts through the crowd so that we can be up close and personal with the art. What we know about Vermeer is limited, but Close to Vermeer is a tribute to his talent that gives us the opportunity to see him and his work like never before."
    –Cassandra Bauer, Film Obsessive
  • "This intriguing documentary… spotlights the unique talent of the artist, the behind-the-scenes work of curators, and the ways in which Vermeer’s paintings still have a lasting impact centuries later."
    –Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue
  • "Riveting. The Rijksmuseum's Vermeer retrospective is nothing short of an historic event."
    –Alex Billington, First Showing
tronie exhibition with Vermeer's Gil with a Red Hat

Antwerp tronie exhibition with Vermeer's Girl with a Red Hat new logo

Turning Heads; Bruegel, Rubens and Rembrandt
October 20, 2023–January 21, 2024
Koninklijk Museum van Schone Kunsten in Antwerpen, Antwerp

Before returning home to the National Gallery of Art, the Girl with a Red Hat will remain in the Rijksmuseum Gallery of Honor until October10, and then will be part of the exhibition Turning Heads; Bruegel, Rubens and Rembrandt held at the Antwerp KMSKA from October 20 to January 21, 2024.

from the gallery website:
Faces will be in the spotlight at the KMSKA this autumn, with the first major exhibition following the museum’s grand reopening, which focuses on the development of a Northern European genre, the tronie (head study).

Interest in the tronie, the old Dutch word for ‘face’ surged in the 17th century, when artists like Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer (Girl with a Red Hat) poured their talent into painting the human face.

Artists in the 16th and 17th centuries were responsible for a seismic upheaval. Faces had previously been the preserve of crowded biblical and mythological scenes. Now, however, they were shown individually and in all their glory. They were played with, studied and livened up with costumes and exaggerated expressions. Turning Heads is not an exhibition about portraits. In fact, it is very much not that. Artists of greater and lesser talent used anonymous models to carry out creative experiments on their own initiative.

Girl i Interrupted in nher Music

Vermeer's Girl Interrupted at her Music travels to Pittsburg in 2024 new logo

Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt: Forging the Frick Collections in Pittsburgh and New York
Frick Collection Pittsburg
April 6-July 14, 2023

The Frick Pittsburgh is presenting an exhibition this spring that combines many of the most significant artworks from its collection with those of its sister institution, The Frick Collection in New York City. More than 60 artworks will be exhibited, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative arts. The exhibition will focus on the collections of 19th-century industrialist Henry Clay Frick and his daughter, philanthropist Helen Clay Frick. It will highlight the similarities and differences in their collecting passions and how their acquisitions shaped the museums they established. The exhibition traces this evolution from its beginnings in the 1880s in Pittsburgh, through the family's move to New York City in 1914, to the eventual creation of The Frick Art Museum in Point Breeze in 1970.

Chief among the works included is the painting Girl Interrupted at her Music by Vermeer. This piece was featured earlier this year in the Rijksmuseum's landmark Vermeer retrospective in Amsterdam.

A pre-exhibition event—the screening of the 2023 documentary Close to Vermeer—will be held in The Frick Art Museum auditorium on Oct. 22, 2023 at 2 p.m. The film provides a behind-the-scenes look at the largest Vermeer exhibition ever mounted, which took place in early 2023 at the Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands. Due to limited seating in the auditorium, advance registration is encouraged.

The Lacemaker, in Lens, France

Vermeer's Lacemaker exhibited at the Louvre-Lens in Lens (Lens, France) new logo

After being shown in the Vermeer exhibition at the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum (February 10-June 4 2023, Vermeer's iconic Lacemaker will join a collection of 220 works loaned by the Paris Louvre to the Louvre Galerie du Temps at the Louvre-Lens in Lens (Pas-de-Calais), northern France), from June 28, for nearly a year.

The Louvre-Lens, also referred to as the Louvre's "little brother," was established as a way to decentralize France’s vast collection of art and allow a wider audience to have access to the works of great cultural and historical significance.

Six Vermeer

Vermeer's Girl with a Red Hat and the Leiden Collection Young Woman Seated at the Virginal exhibited in the Rijksmuseum Gallery of Honor new logo

Six Vermeers
Gallery of Honor, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
June 7–October 10, 2023<https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/whats-on/exhibitions/six-vermeers>

Vermeer's Girl with a Red Hat and the the Leiden Collection Young Woman Seated at the Virginal will be shown with the 4 Vermeer's of the Rijksmuseum Gallery of Honor until October 10, 2023.

Vermeer: Johannes Vermeer, Faith, Light and Reflcion by Gregor Weber

A new look at Vermeer's life, his use of the camera obscura and his ties to the Jesuit community in Delft

new logo

Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light and Reflection
Gregor J.M. Weber

Little is known about the personality of Johannes Vermeer, one of the most famous Dutch painters of the 17th century. We do know that he married the Catholic Catharina Bolnes, whose family was closely associated with the Jesuit community in Delft. In this book, Gregor J.M. Weber, former head of visual arts at the Rijksmuseum, shows that Vermeer himself actually pursued a Catholic lifestyle. The relationship between the artistic ambitions of the young Vermeer and his Catholic surroundings is also discussed. Vermeer's unique treatment of light, perception and perspective is examined and linked to the Jesuits' special interest in the camera obscura, the instrument of light and vision par excellence. With his research, Weber places Vermeer's person and art in a new context, which until now has only been touched upon in passing.

Delft: en de Delftse Topografie, WIm Weve

New study of Vermeer's architectural paintings new logo

Delft: en de Delftse Topografie (Vermeer and the Delft Topography; Dutch with English summary)
Wim Weve
with numerous diagrams and 142 color and black and white images

Wim Weve has extensively studied Vermeer's View of Delft and The Little Street with from a rigorous architectural/historical point of view and discovered new interesting aspects. For example, the View of Delft turns out to be , in fact, an accurate view of that city. Unlike previous hypotheses, Weve demonstrates that Vermeer did not alter or distort any buildings within the painting and correctly depicted the bridge between the city gates.

Moreover, Weve, shows that the house with the stepped gable of The Little Street must have been based on an existing house. Frequently assumed architectural 'errors' can be explained on architectural grounds. To the right of the entrance, the house must have had an inner wall that separated a side room from the front house. Because of the location of that wall, the window on the right is slightly narrower than the window on the left. Through the open doorway, however, Vermeer does not show an inner wall. The artist combined various architectural elements in an architecturally impossible way, probably as a visual counterweight to the house with the stepped gable on the right.

Vermeer catalogue

Vermeer retrospective catalog new logo

Gregor J M Weber and Pieter Roelofs
200 color illustrations

Published to accompany the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, this is the first major study of Vermeer’s life and work in many years.

Johannes Vermeer’s intensely quiet and enigmatic paintings invite the viewer into a private world, often prompting more questions than answers. Who is being portrayed? Are his subjects real or imagined? What is shown on the map on the wall? What news does a letter bring?

Seemingly unaware of the viewer, each subject―the milkmaid,the guitar player, the girl with a pearl earring―occupies an intimate and private space. Vermeer’s paintings, with their enigmatic interiors and masterful handling of natural light, bring us into a closed, internal world, but with many tantalizing points of contact with the outside world. What details do we know of Vermeer’s personal life? How did it affect his painting style?

This is the first major study of Vermeer’s life and work for many years, bringing together diverse strands of his professional and private life in Delft in the seventeenth century and examining important research that has revealed new ways of looking at his paintings.

My Take

Essential Vermeer goes YouTube!(sort of)

After months of struggling to squash the formidable learning curve of producing video content, I've launched my latest intuitive: YouTube channel called My Take!: Vermeer’s Paintings One by One.

So why on earth did it ever come to this?

Well, in the last twenty years I’ve done my very best to present the most thorough and balanced view of Vermeer’s art on the Essential Vermeer capitalizing on the immense and largely unexplored potential of the internet in regards to art historical issues. One of my top priorities has been objectivity.

However, in recent years I've felt a growing need to communicate my own thoughts and feelings tempered by years of experience as a painter and ordinary person in front of extraordinary art.

The most efficient and effective means to communicate highly personalized content of this type is, I believe, via the video. It has the added advantage of allowing me to express myself with absolute freedom while maintaining the boundaries between the contents Essential Vermeer website and my videos clearly demarked.

I’ve just uploaded the first two videos: one on the Girl with a Flute, which the National Gallery of Art has officially demoted, and the other, A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals in the New York Leiden Collection.

Both presented quite a few thorns.

Have a look and let me know your reactions in the comments.

My Take: Girl with a Pearl Earring

My Take: Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window

My Take: Young Woman Seated at the Virginals

My Take: Girl with a Flute

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If you discover a or anything else that isn't working as it should be, I'd love to hear it! Please write me at: jonathanjanson@essentialvermeer.com