Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces from the Mauritshuis

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665, oil on canvas, 44.5 x 39 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague

The Frick Collection will be the final venue of an American tour of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague in the fall of 2013, (October 22, 2013, through January 12, 2014).

This prestigious Dutch museum, which has not lent a large body of works from its holdings in nearly thirty years, is undergoing an extensive two-year renovation that makes this opportunity possible. Between January 2013 and January 2014, the Mauritshuis will send thirty-five paintings to the United States, following two stops at Japanese institutions. The American exhibition opens next winter at de Young/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, traveling on to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for the summer of 2013. A smaller selection of ten masterpieces will be on view at The Frick Collection in New York from October 22, 2013, through January 12, 2014. Among the works going on tour are the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer and The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, neither of which will have been seen by American audiences in ten years. Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis, comments, “We are delighted to have three excellent museums as partners for our U.S. tour. This agreement allows us to present our collection on both the west and east coasts of the United States, in large as well as more intimate venues.”

The New York presentation will be coordinated by Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Colin B. Bailey and Assistant Curator Margaret Iacono. Continuing in the Frick’s tradition of presenting masterpieces from acclaimed museums not easily accessible to the New York public, this exhibition follows on three acclaimed shows of similar size that drew, respectively, upon works from the Toledo Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Norton Simon Museum. The Frick’s Mauritshuis exhibition, to be shown in the Oval Room, primarily features works by artists collected by founder Henry Clay Frick, such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, Hals, and van Ruisdael, but is complementary in its inclusion of work by Steen and Fabritius.

The ten paintings coming to the Frick, all highlights of the Mauritshuis collection, represent the range of subject matter and technique prevalent in seventeenth-century painting in The Netherlands. They are Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665; Rembrandt van Rijn’s Simeon’s Song of Praise, 1631, and his Portrait of an Elderly Man, 1667; Frans Hals’s pendant portraits of Jacob Olycan (1596–1638) and Aletta Hanemans (1606–1653), both painted in 1625; Carel Fabritius’s The Goldfinch, 1654; Gerard ter Borch’s Woman Writing a Letter, c. 1655; Jan Steen’s Girl Eating Oysters, c. 1658–60, and ‘The Way you Hear It, Is the Way You Sing It’, c. 1665; and Jacob van Ruisdael’s View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds, c. 1670–75.