More than 20 years after the legendary exhibition Johannes Vermeer, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, will present Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry.
On view in the West Building from October 22, 2017, through January 21, 2018, the exhibition will examine the artistic exchanges among Dutch Golden Age painters from 1650 to 1675, when they reached the height of their technical ability and mastery at depicting domestic life.
Some 65 masterpieces by Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries—including Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolas Maes, Eglon van der Neer, Caspar Netscher, and Jacob Ochtervelt—will be grouped by theme, composition, and technique, thereby demonstrating how these painters admired, challenged, and pushed each other to greater artistic achievement. The paintings also reflect how these masters responded to the changing artistic climate of the Dutch Republic in the third quarter of the 17th century, particularly in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Deventer, Rotterdam, and Delft.
Since 1995 the Gallery’s curator of northern baroque paintings, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., has mounted more than a dozen exhibitions on Dutch artists, including several featured in this exhibition. Among them are Johannes Vermeer (1995), Jan Steen (1996), Gerrit Dou (2000), Gerard ter Borch (2004–2005), Frans van Mieris (2006), and Gabriel Metsu (2011). As the culmination of these monographic exhibitions, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting will reveal how these painters were artistically more connected than has previously been understood.
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, and the Musée du Louvre, Paris. The exhibition will be on view at the National Gallery of Ireland from June 17 through September 17, 2017.