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© Joan Currie – The Milkmaid by Vermeer

The wonderful, serene paintings of Jan [Johannes] Vermeer – although sadly few in number – show a world of Dutch order and domestic calm. His work illuminates the quiet life of ordinary Dutch men and, particularly, women going about their lives: cleaning, chatting, cooking, drinking, playing music, and quietly contemplating life. Their existence is shown as measured and predictable, comfortable but not glamorous, unhurried and orderly with nothing out of place. from Vermeer by Sandra Forty

I just returned from Amsterdam having had the good fortune to see the sold-out Vermeer exhibit at the Rijksmuseum twice, while I was there. In addition, I traveled to The Hague to see the Girl with a Pearl Earring, as the painting was removed from the Rijksmuseum on March 30, 2023 to return home to the Mauritshuis.

Johannes Vermeer is my favorite painter. The Rijksmuseum’s retrospective exhibit (until June 4, 2023) features 28 of 37 known Vermeer paintings. It is the first time since the Dissius Auction in 1696 (when, allegedly, 21 Vermeer paintings were put up for sale), that so many of his paintings have been on display at one time.

Although I have seen several of Vermeer’s works before, the exhibit lighting was spectacular and it allowed me to see details of the paint texture and layering that I had not noticed in the past. Below are some my favorite Vermeer paintings.

© Joan Currie – Woman in Blue Reading a Letter
© Joan Currie – The Glass of Wine
© Joan Currie – Detail of Girl Interrupted at Her Music
© Joan Currie – Detail of Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window