Exhibition in Paris, France: The Louvre will host “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” in honour of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer

February 22 to May 22, 2017, the famous Parisian museum is holding a landmark exhibition about the Dutch painter for the first time since 1966

Feb 18, 2017 | By Teri Chong

For the first time since 1966, The Louvre in Paris will be hosting an exhibition that celebrates the genius of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Running from February 22 till May 22, the exhibition known as “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting”, will showcase just a third of his known artworks. Thanks to the exhibition, we will have a chance to learn about the relationships that linked the “Milkmaid” painter to other great painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Far from being a recluse or loner as legend suggests, the exhibition aims to dispell the notion through his artworks.The artist has been presented as isolated and removed from the world, and was even dubbed “The Sphinx of Delft.” It is this expression, coined by French journalist Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who revealed the artist to the world in the 19th century, that shaped this image of the solitary genius.

The exhibition sets out to challenge this view, suggesting that Vermeer was part of a network of major artists of the Dutch Golden Age who shared mutual admiration and inspiration, as well as rivalry. These include Gérard Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, Caspar Netscher and Frans van Mieris.

All of these artists were active during the third quarter of the 17th century when the Dutch Republic’s global economic power reached its height. Relishing in their glory, the country’s intelligentsia and elites wanted art that reflected their power. This led to a new style of genre painting, capturing idealized scenes from daily life or private life displaying a staged vision of civility.

The exhibition is organized in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA.

“Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” runs February 22 to May 22, 2017, at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.

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