It's crazy: there's an extensive Vermeer exhibition in Amsterdam right now at the famous Rijksmuseum, one that's so popular it's already sold out. One almost gets the impression: Amsterdam's senior citizens' guild is taking the opportunity to convert the exhibition rooms into a marketplace. Everyone is doing their best to get the ideal view of the artwork. Honestly: one would have wished for more meditative contemplation from a painter who is famous for his intimate scenes of silence.
The irony of the whole circus: the empty-nesters of Amsterdam find solace in the city, where they can spot Vermeer on garbage cans and parking meters. In contrast, credit must be given to the organizers of this particular exhibition: The institution itself eschews apparent ostentation in favor of understatement.
The exhibition is a sanctuary designed to the smallest detail, where one can admire 28 of Vermeer's surviving 37 paintings. However, there is also a forgery on view, the long-disputed "Girl with Flute" from the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The painting is presumably by an artist from Vermeer's circle. One must especially emphasize: The exhibition concentrates on the artworks and does without comparative works, videos, and expert interviews - perhaps also to maintain the subdued worldliness of the pearls.