Vermeer Suite: Music in 17th-Century Dutch Painting

January 17, 2016 to August 21, 2016 | Focus II Gallery
Johannes Vermeer, Dutch, 1632-1675, Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, c. 1670-1672, oil on canvas, The Leiden Collection, Inv# JVe-100 28.2015.1 © The Leiden Collection, New YorkGerard ter Borch, Dutch, 1617 - 1681, A Musical Company, c. 1642-1644, oil on panel, The Leiden Collection, Inv# GB-105 28.2015.3 © The Leiden Collection, New YorkJacob Adriaensz Ochtervelt, Dutch, 1634 - 1682, A Singing Violinist, c. 1666-1670, oil on panel, The Leiden Collection, Inv# JO-100 28.2015.4 © The Leiden Collection, New YorkEglon van der Neer, Dutch, 1635 - 1703, A Lady Playing a Lute in an Interior, 1675, oil on panel, The Leiden Collection, Inv# EN-100 28.2015.5 © The Leiden Collection, New YorkAttributed to Dirck van Santvoort, Dutch, 1610 - 1680, A Boy Playing the Flute, oil on canvas, The Leiden Collection, Inv# DS-100 28.2015.8 © The Leiden Collection, New York

The great 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer created fewer than forty paintings during his lifetime, and Young Woman Seated at a Virginal from 1670–72 is one of his last. On loan from the private Leiden Collection, it is typical of the acclaimed artist’s style in its depiction of a solitary woman seated at the keyboard instrument with light illuminating the scene from a window not seen on the canvas. This masterpiece is the inspiration for the DMA exhibition Vermeer Suite: Music in 17th-Century Dutch Painting, which includes seven additional loans from the Leiden Collection of works by Vermeer’s contemporaries—artists Jan Steen, Gerard ter Borch, Jacob Adriaensz Ochtervelt, Eglon van der Neer, Gerard Dou, and Frans van Mieris—whose paintings also portray musicians performing period instruments such as the lute, violin, and violincello. 

Admission is FREE.


Music, Love, and Leisure in the Dutch Golden Age

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The 17th-century music paintings of Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries reflect a cultural and artistic heritage inextricably linked to music making. Betsy Wieseman, Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings at the National Gallery, London, will speak about the lasting impact of music paintings from this period and contextualize Vermeer’s music paintings within his larger body of work.



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