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Johannes Vermeer's "Woman in Blue reading a letter" visits Munich
3 July until 30 September 2018

Alte Pinakothek

To mark the reopening of all galleries and the collection display in the Alte Pinakothek, the public has the unique opportunity to see in Munich the famous ‘Woman in Blue Reading a Letter’ by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675). The canvas will be on show for the limited period of 03 July to 30 September 2018. This generous loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is not only the expression of the friendly ties between the two museums and their world- famous collections, but at the same time evidence of the close relationship between the Netherlands and Germany.

Forgotten until the end of the 19th century, Vermeer’s work was rediscovered by the French journalist and art critic Théophile Thoré-Bürger and subsequently underwent a renaissance. Today Vermeer is one of the most famous painters of the Dutch Baroque, alongside Rembrandt and Frans Hals. This is due to the special atmosphere that characterizes his portrayals of domestic life in the Dutch Golden Age. Vermeer was able, like no other painter of his time, to endow a seemingly simple visual subject, such as the woman reading a letter, with a distinctive, deep poignancy. His well-balanced compositions are reduced to a few essential motifs, effectively arranged and illuminated with natural, cool daylight. The choice of colours achieves a perfect harmony, scarcely diminished in its power even today. Optical phenomena, which were the subject of scientific research during the painter’s lifetime and which he would simultaneously adapt according to his own rules, often play a key role. Restauration of the painting in 2011 revealed the secret of the intense and magical radiance of the blue, which has endured across centuries.

Vermeer spared no effort in making the letter-reader’s dress blaze blue: he used blue pigments extracted from precious lapis lazuli, a rock-like mineral from
northeastern Afghanistan, overlaid on a copper-green base. The public now have the chance to experience for themselves the painting’s unique atmosphere and
enchanting effect, alongside other well-known masterpieces in the gallery of Netherlandish masters in the Alte Pinakothek.


Wednesday, 18 July 2018, 6:30pm
Lecture with live concert
With Gregor J. M. Weber, Head of the department Fine and Decorative arts, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and a presentation of Netherlandish Baroque music for violin and cembalo, Michael Eberth and students of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Munich.
Tickets are on sale now, and at box office on the evening.

15 July until 30 September, saturdays 12:00 until 4:00pm and sundays 12:00 until 5:00pm
Talks and short tours in front of the original.

Tuesday, 10 July, 17, July, 4 September, 25 September, each at 6:00 pm
Guided tours (in Dutch)

aturday, 21 July and 28 July 2018, 4:00pm
Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 6:30pm

Musical Tours
Music of the Golden Age for Baroque violin and cembalo with an introduction to the period’s musical history by Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Munich.

Fig.: Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, c. 1663. Oil on canvas, 46.5 cm x 39 cm. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, On loan from the City of Amsterdam(A. van der Hoop Bequest) © Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.




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