Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry

For information about exact dates and arrangements for this event during the COVID 19 restrictions please visit the website

Thanks to the donation of art from the Beit Collection, the National Gallery has one of the greatest of Vermeer’s paintings in its permanent collection: Woman Writing a Letter with Her Maid. This exhibition brings nine other Vermeer works to Dublin, along with some 50 other works by Vermeer contemporaries. Whether you see it in Dublin or elsewhere this is an event not to be missed. Never before has such a collection of Vermeers been hung together and it unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

The exhibition explores the network of relationships between Vermeer and Dutch genre painters of the ‘Golden’ period – 1650 to 1675 – and will give visitors an insight into how Vermeer and his contemporaries admired, inspired and rivalled each other.

Among the other Vermeer paintings are Woman with a Balance (National Gallery of Art, Washington), Woman with a Pearl Necklace (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), The Astronomer (Musée du Louvre, Paris) and The Geographer (Städel Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main). Other artists who feature include  Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Gabriel Metsu, Pieter de Hooch and Frans van Mieris.

Conceived and curated by the National Gallery in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the exhibition comes to Dublin after a hugely popular spell in the Lourve in Paris, before traveling on to New York, Washington, Berlin, Amsterdam and elsewhere.

During its sojourn in Dublin there is an extensive programme of films, lectures and other events running alongside.

Visiting the Vermeer Exhibition

While entry to the National Gallery is free, this exhibition is a ticketed event and early purchase is very much advised – it is highly likely that tickets will sell fast.

Ticket Sales

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