Washington : The Hague : New Haven :
National Gallery of Art ; Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis ; Yale University Press
- Item Description
- "National Gallery of Art, Washington, 12 November 1995-11 February 1996; Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, the Hague, 1 March-2 June 1996"--T.p. verso.
- Physical Description
- 229 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 32 cm
- Includes bibliographical references (p. 210-225) and index.
- Main Author
- Corporate Authors
- Other Authors
Although this book is actually the catalog of an exhibition of 22 of the 35 accepted paintings by Vermeer at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (Nov. 12, 1995 - Feb. 11, 1996) and the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague (March 1 - June 2, 1996), it is the best and most up-to-date work on the artist's career and oeuvre. The authors of two of the essays, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. (National Gallery of Art) and Albert Blankert (Utrecht Univ.), are already well known for their monographs on Vermeer (Wheelock, 1981, 1988; Blankert, 1988). The two other essays are by Mauritshuis staff members Ben Broos and Jorgen Wadum. The catalog of the exhibited paintings is by Wheelock and Broos, with each work illustrated in color, often with details. There are elaborate technical descriptions of the paintings by Nicola Costaras. Perhaps of the greatest interest is the cleaned View of Delft. Other works by Vermeer not in the exhibition are discussed and illustrated in the catalog and in the four essays; thus the book is, in effect, a complete study of the artist's works. In keeping with the increasing interest in context and collecting, portraits of major previous owners are included. Exhaustive bibliography of books, articles, and exhibitions; invaluable chronology of the few known facts based on documents; maps. A first-rate publication, which should have a wide appeal. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty; general. Copyright 1999 American Library AssociationReview by Library Journal Reviews
Despite the federal budget crisis and thanks to private monies, the Vermeer exhibition at the National Gallery is underway. To coincide with the exhibition, curator Wheelock has put together a thoroughly researched catalog of the exhibition's 23 works. Through the bits of evidence gleaned from Vermeer's life and 17th-century historical fact, Wheelock has pieced together Vermeer's artistic and geographical influences. The essay on the artist's use of perspective is the most remarkable because it enables the reader to understand the technician behind the artist; X-radiographs, included throughout the book, detail how Vermeer used a pin and a string to exercise his near-perfect perspective in his paintings. The excellent, full-size color plates are accompanied by brief descriptions of provenance, exhibitions, and technique. Although some claims made about the artist lack written documentation, this carefully researched work is recommended for fine arts collections. Given the popularity of the exhibition, large public libraries will also want to purchase. Julie C. Boehning, "Library Journal" Copyright 1998 Library Journal Reviews