Vermeer reality TV show brings back to life painter’s missing masterpieces

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Vermeer mania hits new heights on the back of the blockbuster Rijksmuseum show with (wait for it) a new reality TV show called The New Vermeer.

The premise is fairly simple—two professional painters and a selection of amateur artists must re-create some of Vermeer’s lost paintings such as The Concert (1664) which hung in the Isabella Stewart Gardner painting in Boston, Massachusetts, until 1990 when it was stolen.

The paintings, which are made in a wide variety of materials including Lego, are judged by Vermeer experts from the Rijksmuseum and from the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

According to The New York Times, “the mash-up of highbrow culture and mass entertainment has been an instant sensation in the Netherlands, with 1.3 million viewers (in a country of 17 million) tuning in for the first episode.” All of the works created so far can be seen in an online gallery; the masterly reality TV show is broadcast by Omroep Max.

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