Just a reminder to those on the east coast of the U.S. that several superb masterpieces from the Mauritshuis are currently on this side of the Atlantic, including Vermeer’s iconic Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis just opened at the Frick Collection in New York, where it will be on display until January 19, 2014.
For more details, see my article on the exhibition from May, when the show made its U.S. debut at the De Young Museum in San Franscisco.
The Frick website doesn’t give a preview of the exhibition, so refer to the De Young site for that.
For more on Girl with a Pearl Earring, see the Essential Vermeer website.
Many of the images of Vermeer’s painting (like many paintings on the web) are wildly inaccurate in color. The color on Essential Vermeer is likely pretty good. If you see reproductions in which her turban is a bright, saturated blue, that’s clue of an inaccurate reproduction. Ironically, the turban was more brilliantly blue when Vermeer painted it — in genuine Ultramarine Blue, which was made from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli ground to a powder. The pigment is fading in some of Vermeer’s paintings (as well as others) due to interaction with atmospheric pollutants and other factors that are only now being understood by conservators.
There is a large image on the NPR site, though it is lit in a way that emphasizes the unfortunate fact that the surface of the painting has also cracked over time.
I still hope to be able to get to see the painting before it, and the other stunning works from the Mauritshuis, travel back to The Hague in January.