"The Music Lesson" by Johannes Vermeer returns to the Netherlands this autumn for the first time in twenty years. This masterpiece, part of the British Royal Collection, was last on display in the Mauritshuis
in 1996, as part of the major Johannes Vermeer exhibition. The painting will be the highlight of this autumns exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his contemporaries from the British Royal Collection. The exhibition opens to the public on the 29th of September.
"The Music Lesson" is one of the rare 36 surviving works by Johannes Vermeer. This painting dates from 1660-1662, and shows a woman and a gentleman beside a virginal. Above the instrument hangs a mirror, which reflects the foot of Vermeer's easel. The The painting was acquired by King George III of England in 1762, when it was attributed to Frans van Mieris the Elder. Only later was it recognised as a masterpiece by Vermeer.
Mauritshuis itself has three works by Vermeer Diana and her Nymphs, View of Delft and Girl with a Pearl Earring but its collection lacks a genre piece by the artist. Thats why the museum is delighted to have the opportunity of showing a fourth Vermeer for a time.
At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his contemporaries from the British Royal Collection
The British Royal Collection is one of the largest and most important art collections in the world and one of the few great European royal collections to have remained intact.
The exhibition covers a broad selection of the best Dutch genre paintings from the Royal Collection. It includes 22 paintings from the British Royal Collection and one from the collection of the Mauritshuis.
Key works in the exhibition are Johannes Vermeer's "The Music Lesson" and Jan Steen's A Woman at her Toilet. Also featured are significant works by other grand masters of Dutch genre painting, such as Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Willem van Mieris and Gabriël Metsu.