NYC’s Wealth of Vermeers

The Milkmaid, 1657, Rijksmuseum, On loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The economy may be dismal, but New York is still rich in some things: people, MTA delays, and- thanks to a generous loan from the Rijksmusem- Vermeers. The Met exhibition Vermeer’s Masterpiece, The Milkmaid is open until November 29, and rarely has an exhibition been so well devoted to one picture. It provides a context and education for Vermeer’s masterpiece with a slew of exceptional Dutch paintings. The Milkmaid itself is more beautiful than I knew to expect. I saw the exhibition last night and was blown away by it. I’m going back, and I suggest that you see it and take a detour to the Frick as well.

The exhibition at the Met boasts 6 Vermeers. In addition, the Frick Collection, which was unable to loan its paintings for the Met’s exhibition, has another 3 paintings by Vermeer. Currently in an afternoon on the Upper East Side a person can give themselves an education on Vermeer with 9 of his 36 existing paintings. Not bad for a recession.

The nine paintings below are even lovelier in person (except the Study of a Young Woman–would love to hear what you think of that one). They are arranged in chronological order, the first having been painted a year before The Milkmaid.

A Maid Asleep, 1656, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Officer and Laughing Girl, 1657, Frick Collection

Girl Interrupted at her Music, 1658, Frick Collection

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, 1662, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Girl with a Lute, 1662, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Study of a Young Woman, 1665, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mistress and Maid, 1666, Frick Collection

Allegory of the Catholic Faith, 1670, Metropolitan Museum of Art

3 thoughts on “NYC’s Wealth of Vermeers

  1. Awww, Study of a Young Woman is ok —she’s no Girl With a Pearl Earring, but she’s trying. I think she could be Girl with a Lute actually, but it’s sad that it’s missing the color and detail seen in Vermeer’s other paintings. You’re right though, there are a wealth of Vermeers in NYC, and no photo will ever do them justice!

  2. She struck me on the creepy side, but I’m sure most people would agree with you. I’ve heard the word ‘ethereal’.

    I thought (because my mind is this way inclined after reading The Forger’s Spell) if ever there was an undiscovered forgery of Vermeers, this was it.

    I like your blog by the way.

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