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Arts & Entertainment

Getty: A Vermeer before and after? Or, a free idea for grant-seeking artists.

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, c. 1663–64. Johannes Vermeer.
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, c. 1663–64. Johannes Vermeer.
Rijksmuseum/City of Amsterdam/van der Hoop Bequest/Getty

I just got a news release announcing that the Getty Museum will be displaying Vermeer's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter from February 16 through March 31, 2013.

It's a loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and according to the Getty, is on a world tour as an "ambassador" for the Rijksmuseum's Dutch paintings, and the Getty is the only US stop.

Getty director Timothy Potts says, "Vermeer's Woman in Blue is one of his greatest and most famous masterpieces. Vermeer's paintings of women reading letters and engaged in other private, domestic activities have a unique intimacy and reality to them that can only be fully appreciated in the flesh. His finest works, like the Woman in Blue, have a magical immediacy that has never been rivaled."

The Getty, in a collegial tone, points out that Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is at the de Young Museum in San Francisco through May. 
File:Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) - The Girl With The Pearl Earring (1665).jpg

I have to add that I am a Philistine.

I knew Girl with a Pearl Earring (it's probably Vermeer's greatest hit), but did not know Woman in Blue. My first thought, when I saw the painting at the top of the news release, was that some modern artist was doing a series of updates of famous depictions of women - like Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Mona Lisa, Venus on the Half Shell, etc. -- pregnant.  

Free idea, grant-seeking artists!