Vermeer hits the high notes at the National Gallery

Not that everybody’s favourite Dutch artist of interiors was always so highly regarded. The centrepiece of the exhibition, the Queen’s The Music Lesson, was bought as part of a job lot by George III, who really wanted the Italian paintings on offer. Even then it was wrongly ascribed to Frans van Mieris the Elder and dismissed by some of the experts as not really good enough even for him. The correct attribution didn’t come until nearly a century later when the Victorians at last began to appreciate the supreme mastery of Johannes Vermeer of Delft.

Why the long neglect? It was partly that Vermeer’s jewelled precision and ambiguous moods seemed not quite meaningful enough for an age that liked its Dutch paintings to show ships and windmills or riotous scenes with a moral message. It was also that the British – as some still do – found something faintly disturbing about

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/vermeer-hits-the-high-notes-at-the-national-gallery-8680533.html

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