Vermeer special: the man, the show and an attribution debate


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.

Vermeer exhibition

Photo: Rijksmuseum / Henk Wildschut

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.

Johannes Vermeer or Studio of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Flute (1669/1675)

Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

In this episode’s Work of the Week, we explore a debate around the attribution of a painting: Betsy Wieseman, a curator and the 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.

• Read all our coverage on Vermeer and the Rijksmuseum show here


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