Rare Vermeer canvas debuts at the Chrysler Museum of Art
Johannes Vermeer's "Young Woman Seated at a Virginal," painted circa 1670-72, is on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art. (Private collection, New York. Used by permission of Chrysler Museum of Art)
Vermeer's "Young Woman Seated at a Virginal" is one of fewer than 40 known surviving works by the celebrated 17th-century Dutch artist -- and the first ever to visit the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The painting is on display as part of "Dutch 'Golden Age' Paintings," an intimate focus exhibition of privately held gems that are rotating on the walls of the museum's Kaufman Furniture Gallery.
Opened in June 2009, the show has already featured works from two of the three great masters of 17th-century Dutch painting -- Rembrandt van Rijn and Frans Hals.
Rembrandt's engaging "Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes" returned to its private collector earlier this year, but Hals' expressive "Portrait of Samuel Ampzing" will remain on view along with the newly hung Vermeer.
Purchased at auction in 2004 by a private collector, the small, jewellike Vermeer was only recently accepted as an authentic Vermeer. Though some collectors and scholars over the centuries have believed it to be genuine because of its characteristic style and subject matter, others raised questions because of its unusually small size -- 8" x 10"-- and the fact that the painting was left unsigned.
After more than 10 years of rigorous scholarly and scientific study that concluded in 2008, however, most Vermeer authorities have accepted the painting into the artist's definitive catalogue. Authorities now believe the great Dutch artist painted this window-lit musical portrait between 1670 and 1672, not long before his sudden death in 1675 at the age of 43.
"Dutch 'Golden Age' Paintings" has been extended through 2010 and is made possible by the generosity of a New York-based private collector and the support of Linda H. Kaufman. Admission to this exhibition is free.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., Curator of Northern Baroque Paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., will present a special lecture on Vermeer at the Chrysler at 7 p.m. June 17. The event is free to museum members and invited guests. Non-members may join the Chrysler Museum at the door prior to the event.
Want to go?
What: A rare painting by Johannes Vermeer
Where: Chrysler Museum of Art, 245 West Olney Road, Norfolk
When: 10 a.m. -9 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m Thursday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.