12 febbraio 2023
by Sonia Montrella

Vermeer mania


Crazy about Vermeer. From 10 February to 4 June, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will host "the largest exhibition ever dedicated" to the famous Dutch painter but, we bet, not even the art gallery itself had imagined such a great interest. Over 150,000 presale tickets were sold in just a few days and for the entire duration of the exhibition, the museum will extend visiting hours to 10pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

But the Vermeer fever still refused to subside, to the point that the Rijksmuseum website crashed. “Due to the enormous interest aroused by the exhibition, the website is temporarily down due to overload. We are working to solve the problem,” the Rijksmuseum announced via social media a few hours ago. Fans of the 17th century master were invited to stay calm: “The exhibition will continue until June 4 and there are still lots of tickets left”.

The fear of art lovers is that they will miss the only opportunity to admire the “first and last” retrospective dedicated to the artist. “Seeing all the works together will be an experience that even Vermeer never had,” said the director Taco Dibbits. Indeed, these 28 works have been obtained thanks to exceptional loans from the most important museums in the world. Only 37 paintings by Vermeer are known to date. However, the remaining nine are unlikely to ever be shown to the public. Some cannot be lent, others have been contested, an unknown but probably small number have long since been lost, while one canvas was stolen in Boston in 1990 and has never been recovered

Seeing all the works together will be an experience that even Vermeer never had

“The fragility of the paintings coupled with growing competition among museums for loans makes it almost certain that an exhibition on this scale will not be repeated. With this exhibition, we are able to present Vermeer's painting to a new generation at his highest level, and present the results of the latest research.”

According to rumors, the journey into the world of Johannes Vermeer begins with two scenes of morning life. The tour is divided into 10 rooms, passing from views of the city to private interiors, from moments of domestic life to more private, sensual or religious recollection.

The exhibition includes all - or almost all - of Vermeer’s masterpieces. There is particular interest surrounding the three paintings from the Frick Collection, which is temporarily closed for restoration: ‘Girl Interrupted at Her Music’, ‘Officer and Laughing Girl’ and ‘Mistress and Maid’. It is the first time that the three paintings have left Manhattan

Only ‘The Art of Painting’ is missing, jealously guarded by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which first hesitated, then finally refused to lend it.

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