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Ongoing and Upcoming Vermeer-Related Events

last update: April 29, 2024

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.

Groot Serpent

Frans Grijzenhout revises the location of Vermeer's house new logo

Finding Vermeer
by Frans Grijzenhout

Art historians, historiographers, and archive researchers have long debated the precise location where Vermeer resided with his family in a house rented by his mother-in-law, Maria Thins, in the Papenhoek (Papists’ Corner) area of Delft, where Vermeer presumably painted for most of his career. Was it the house called Groot Serpent on the eastern corner of Oude Langendijk and Molenpoort, or Trapmolen, on the western corner?

Over the past several decades, art history literature, following the archivist A.J.J.M. van Peer’s lead, has virtually without exception asserted that it was the large Groot Serpent. However, archival researcher Hans Slager has recently submitted that Vermeer and his family family actually lived in the smaller Trapmolen. This location was embraced by Pieter Roelefs in the catalogue of the Rijksmuseum Vermeer retrospective of 2023.

However, Frans Grijzenhout, art historian of the Early Modern Period, now presents an archival source that has not yet been included in the debate on the location of Vermeer's house, overturning Slager's claim. Moreover, Grijzenhout brings forward arguments to establish the exact location on Oude Langendijk of the Jesuit church, a significnat landmark for Delft's Catholic community as well as for Vermeer and his family.

Guitar Player in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Johannes Vermeer?)
Guitar Player (Lady with a Guitar)
(Johannes Vermeer?)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

A new Vermeer? new logo

The Guitar Player: A Forgery, a Copy, or an Autograph Replica from Vermeer’s Workshop?
Arie Wallert and Joris Dik
Zeitschrift fur Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung 36 (2) (2023), 334-350

Arie Wallert, the former Senior Scientist at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, has just published an article in which he argues that a copy of Vermeer's Guitar Player in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the original is in the Kenwood House in London) may be, despite its ruinous condition, not by a different hand but an autograph replica by Vermeer himself.

Here is the paper's abstract:

"In seventeenth century workshops, reproducing pictures was an established—but still relatively unknown—practice. Replication of similar identical paintings was accomplished by repeatedly transferring the imagery from fully worked-out studio drawings onto multiple series of prepared canvases. Mechanical transfer of underdrawings naturally affects the following stages in the process of painting. In the present paper, it is argued that the specific art-technical features of this approach can be seen in two virtually identical paintings: one Guitar Player in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and another Guitar Player in Kenwood House in London. On the basis of art-technological, stylistic, and documentary evidence, we conclude that the two, very similar, paintings are both autograph replicas made by Johannes Vermeer."

Vermeer's Lady Standing at a Virginal to be exibited at the Edinburg National Gallery of Scotland

National Treasures | Vermeer in Edinburgh
National Gallery of Scotland
May 10– September 8, 2024

As part of the momentous bicentenary celebrations of the National Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Scotland has announce a special exhibition featuring Vermeer's exquisite late work: A Lady Standing at a Virginal.

This remarkable artwork arrives in Scotland as a highlight of the National Treasures programme, a nationwide celebration commemorating 200 years of the National Gallery's rich history. In an unprecedented initiative, twelve of the most revered and beloved paintings from the gallery's prestigious collection are being shared with twelve venues across the UK. This initiative is designed to bring these cultural treasures closer to the people, ensuring that more than half of the UK population will be within just an hour’s journey of a National Gallery masterpiece.

The celebration begins on 10 May 2024, coinciding with the National Gallery's 200th birthday. A Lady Standing at a Virginal will be showcased alongside a notable early work by Vermeer from the national collection, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary offering a rare and enriching experience.

Mustress and Maid, Johannes Vermeer

Vermeer's Misterss and Maid visits Dublin new logo

Vermeer Visits
May 1–Aug 18, 2024
National Gallery of Ireland. Dublin

The National Gallery of Ireland unites The Frick Collection’s Mistress and Maid by Vermeer with the National Gallery of Ireland’s Lady Writing a Letter, with her Maid for Vermeer Visits. This is an unprecedented opportunity to unite the works, as the Frick’s Vermeer—one of the highlights of its holdings—has rarely travelled outside of New York. While the Frick’s period home is under renovation, Vermeer’s Mistress and Maid will make an exceptional trip to Dublin.

Curator: Dr Lizzie Marx, Curator of Dutch and Flemish Art

tronie exhibition with Vermeer's Gil with a Red Hat

Dublin tronie exhibition with Vermeer's Girl with a Red Hat

Turning Heads; Bruegel, Rubens and Rembrandt
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
24 February–26 May 2024

The National Gallery of Ireland is staging an entire exhibition dedicated to the tronie—an old Dutch word for "face"or "head" that represented creative experimenting with facial expressions and particular heads—featuring some of the most iconic examples of the genre by Dutch and Flemish artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Michael Sweerts, and Vermeer.

At the forefront of the exhibition will be one of Vermeer’s most exquisitely detailed tronies, Girl with the Red Hat, which has rarely been seen outside the United States in the last century. The painting depicts a female sitter turning back, with two major color themes present through the titular red hat and cascading blue robe. As well as being one of the smallest works he ever produced, the picture is also notable as being painted on panel and not the artist’s usual canvas.

Girl i Interrupted in nher Music

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

Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt: Forging the Frick Collections in Pittsburgh and New York
Frick Collection Pittsburg
April 6–July 14, 2024

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.

Essential Vermeer updates and additions

Essential Vermeer addition: Sortable Table of Vermeer's Complete Oeuvre

Are you looking for basic information about Vermeer's paintings but don't want to spend time on lengthy searches? The Sortable Table of Vermeer's Complete Oeuvre allows you to easily search Vermeer's works using a simple, user-friendly table. With just a click of your mouse, you can sort Vermeer's works by title, date, dimensions, theme, collection, country, city, and even popularity.

Essential Vermeer addition: The Timeline of the City of Delft: 1100-1836

The Timeline of the City of Delft: 1100-1836 is a meticulously curated historical timeline that unfurls the intricate tapestry of Delft's storied past, commencing from its humble origins in the 12th century and culminating with the poignant year of 1836, when the illustrious Rotterdam and Schiedam Gates, immortalized in Vermeer's renowned View of Delft, were dismantled. This chronological narrative provides an enlightening perspective on Delft's evolution, from a marshy lowland to a major cultural, artistic, and political center in the Netherlands and beyond, as well as the beginning of its gradual descent.

EV enhancement: The Complete Table of Vermeer Exhibitions

The Complete Sortable Table of Vermeer Exhibitions has already served as an important interactive resource for scholars and enthusiasts wishing to probe the 300-plus exhibitions featuring one or more works by Vermeer. It's a virtual journey began in June 1838 when Vermeer's Young Woman with a Water Pitcher was publicly exhibited for the first time in London and extends to include the current, ongoing, and upcoming exhibitions.

While this table initially allowed visitors and researchers to conveniently sort exhibitions by date, city, country, and the number of paintings, it lacked a crucial feature: the ability to sort by individual paintings, perhaps the document's Achilles' heel.

With the assistance of ChatGPT, which took care of the behind-the-scenes JavaScript—my knowledge of Egyptian hieroglyphics is better than my knowledge of JavaScript—, I have been able to address this vital omission. Now, all you need to do is click on a thumbnail of any of Vermeer's works displayed in a convenient popup modal, and the table will seamlessly sort by that specific artwork

The Lacemaker, in Lens, France

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

The Lacemaker: Iconic masterpiece from the Louvre Museum
Louvre Galerie du Temps, Louvre-Lens in Lens (Pas-de-Calais)
November 24, 2023–May 29, 2024

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.

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

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 seventeenth 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

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 catalogue

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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Looking Over Vermeer’s Shoulder

The complete book on Vermeer’s materials, artistry and painting techniques

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(founder of Essential Vermeer.com)