Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vermeer, Fabritius & De Hooch: Three Masterpieces from Delft

Three world-renowned paintings by Dutch 17th-century masters, Vermeer, Fabritius and De Hooch, were the focus of a special exhibition in the Beit Wing of the National Gallery of Ireland from 14th February until 24th May 2009. 

The paintings: 

'The Goldfinch'(1654) by Carel Fabritius, on loan from The Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague;

 'The Courtyard of a House in Delft' (1658) by Pieter de Hooch, on loan from The National Gallery, London, and 

the National Gallery of Ireland's, 'Woman Writing a Letter with Her Maid' (c.1670) by Johannes Vermeer.

All three paintings were produced at the height of artistic prosperity in the Dutch city of Delft. Celebrated for their depictions of daily life, these artists are acknowledged masters in the rendition of light, perspective and spatial illusion.
Fabritius' small panel painting 'The Goldfinch' was painted in the last year of the artist's short life, and has become one of the most iconic images of the Dutch Golden Age. It was shown alongside De Hooch's celebrated painting 'The Courtyard of a House in Delft', considered one of the artist's most accomplished works in capturing natural light and linear design. 

Complementing these two paintings was the Gallery's masterpiece by Vermeer, 'Woman writing a Letter with her Maid' which is one of just 36 extant paintings by the artist.