February 10, 2023: In this special episode, we are in Amsterdam for one of the shows of the year: Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum.
As an unprecedented 28 of the 37 surviving Vermeer paintings are gathered in the Dutch capital, Ben Luke talks to several people involved in the project: Gregor Weber, one of the exhibition’s curators, tells us about his new biography that reveals the depth of influence of the Jesuits and Catholicism on the artist.
In the exhibition itself, we talk to Pieter Roelofs, Weber’s co-curator; Ige Verslype, a conservator who led an extensive research project on Vermeer paintings in the Rijksmuseum, Mauritshuis and Frick collections; and Taco Dibbits, the Rijksmuseum’s director. Plus, we bump into the artist Alvaro Barrington in the exhibition and he tells us what he makes of Vermeer as an artist working today.
In this episode’s Work of the Week, we explore a debate around the attribution of a painting: Betsy Wieseman, Curator and Head of the Department of Northern European Paintings at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC, discusses Girl with a Flute (around 1669-75). Wieseman and her NGA colleagues now regard the painting as a work by Vermeer’s studio, even though it appears in the Rijksmuseum show as an authentic work by the master.Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, until 4 June. Gregor Weber, Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light, Reflection, Rijksmuseum, €25 (pb)