It was fortuitous that HL and I obtained tickets for the Vermeer exhibit months ago, just as soon as we booked our stay in Amsterdam, because the show sold out in short order. The assembling of twenty-seven out of the thirty-four known works of the painter made this the most comprehensive presentation of Vermeer’s work ever mounted. It opened in February at the Rijksmuseum. The landmark museum usually closes its doors at five, but it was staying open until 11 PM during the Vermeer exhibition.
The venerable Rijksmuseum had dedicated much effort to directing the crowds. Once we reached the galleries, however, we were surrounded by so many people that it required more patience than I care to muster to approach the paintings. Some rooms were not as mobbed as others. Even with so many overly tall strangers present, I was awed anew by Vermeer’s vision and his incomparable technique.
The general excitement over the Vermeer show did not eclipse the splendor of the permanent collection for me. I had looked forward avidly to being in the Rijksmuseum. Seldom have I been so keenly aware of feeling happy as I was on this precious day.
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The Procuress, by Johannes (Jan) Vermeer
The Milkmaid, by Vermeer
Rembrandt painted this group portrait, familiar to many from the Dutch Masters cigar brand.
The 27th of April is the current Dutch King’s birthday. In honor of The House of Orange, even a Thai restaurant was decorated in the royal color.