Sunday, February 9, 2014

Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring at The Frick, NYC

On January 19, 2014 I had the opportunity to see Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis at the Frick Collection in NYC

It included 15 masterpieces on loan from from the Mauritshuis — my personal highlights were Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring and Rembrandt’s Susanna (1636).

The star of the show was obviously Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring. This was due to its entry into pop culture through the movie of the same name and Tracy Chevalier's novel upon which the movie was based. It was reflected in the attendance for this last day of the show - a line started at the front door and went 3 city blocks around the building. AND these were the people who had tickets.

We were fortunate enough to know someone who got us tickets so that we could escape the outside line and proceed to the inside herding line, which only took a half hour or so. We were packed like sardines as only a limited number of people were allowed in the galleries at a time. Once in the gallery the crowd around the Vermeer was about 15 deep and patience paid off and we were able to get up close within a reasonable amount of time. The payoff was great, the small portrait had a huge presence and made me forget for a moment how crowded the gallery was. 

I went on through the gallery to view the  other works. Carel Fabritius’s Goldfinch didn't do much for me - neither did much of the work. Rembrandt's Susanna was beautiful and seemed to transcend its subject and become a personal talisman of love.

There are 2 other Vermeers in the Frick Collection which were on display, which I'd seen before. The Girl Interrupted in Her Music is one of my favorites. The young girl's gaze upon the artist looks photographic - as if it could have been taken by Yosuf  Karsh or Elliot Erwitt.

Though this type of exhibit does not really allow for the quiet reflection upon art - it was a worthwhile time. Especially when compared to afternoon which occupied watching the Patriots lose to Denver.

Scarlett Johannson in The Girl With The Pearl Earring

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