The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam has pulled off the unthinkable, mounting an exhibition of almost all of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings. The exceptional nature of the show was not lost on art lovers, with every single ticket being sold out before opening. For those feeling they’ve missed out on this genuinely once in a life time opportunity, we would like to point you in the direction of our excellent film on Jan Vermeer.
In the film, Michael Gill delves into the master’s world and talks about the camera obscura and Vermeer’s interest in science and cartography. Together with experts, he explores Vermeer’s secrets of perspective, space, allegory and symbolic relationships in his works.
Very little is known about Vermeer himself. There are no diary entries, writing, or letters that have survived. Vermeer was hardly recognised during his lifetime, and cemented his outsider status when he married by converting to Catholicism in a mostly Protestant country. To paraphrase Heidegger, he lived, he painted, he died.
With only 34, possibly 35, paintings in existence, attempting, to assemble them all in one place has proved difficult. Due to their fragility and value, galleries have long been resistant to loaning the Dutch Master’s paintings. This exhibition pulls work that is owned by the National Gallery in London, the Louvre in Paris, Dublin’s National Gallery, with other works coming from as far a field as New York and Tokyo.
The exhibition a the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam runs from the 10th February – 4th June. Our film, Jan Vermeer, is available here.