Vermeer and Music The Art of Love and Leisure Marjorie E. Wieseman

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
13 Aug 2013
ISBN:
9781857095678
Imprint:
National Gallery London
Dimensions:
72 pages: 267 x 197mm
Illustrations:
60 color illus.

Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) is one of the world’s most captivating artists. Renowned for his sublimely beautiful depictions of everyday Dutch life, Vermeer created exquisite paintings that are sought out by any art lover. Music was a key facet of 17th-century Dutch life, in both public and private. Of Vermeer’s thirty-six surviving paintings, twelve depict musical themes or a musical instrument. These include the magnificent Young Woman Standing at a Virginal, Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, The Music Lesson, and The Guitar Player, all featured in this book.

The book also includes paintings by Vermeer’s contemporaries, such as Gerard ter Borch (1617–1681), Gabriel Metsu (1629–1667), and Jan Steen (c. 1626–1679). Vermeer and Music provides new insight into the cultural significance of these images. A historical overview of musical instruments and entertainment in the Dutch Republic, including the abundant publication of songbooks filled with love songs and poems, some richly illustrated, contextualizes the fascinating relationship between music and the visual arts.

Marjorie E. Wieseman is curator of Dutch paintings at the National Gallery, London.