Thursday, November 19, 2009

Milkmaid @ Met

When I visited New York this past September I saw the small Vermeer show at the Met several times, but could not get good quality images to use here. I also neglected to find out what circumstances had allowed me to experience The Milkmaid in person (since I usually – quite puritanically – refuse to read signs and labels in museums) but now I find both images and explanation here.

"To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river that would come to bear his name, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has lent out Johannes Vermeer's The Milkmaid to the United States for the first time in 70 years. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is famously located in the former colony of Nieuw Amsterdam and owns five other Vermeers, was chosen for this honor. All five canvases have been rehung and temporarily reunited with The Milkmaid, along with a select group of other Dutch Baroque works from the Museum's holdings. Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid is on view from September 10 through November 29, 2009 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York."

Decent as these reproductions are, they still cannot begin to convey the glittering life emanating from the tiny canvases. Antique images of women alone in their rooms in Holland several centuries ago, displayed for today's noisy museum crowds and worshiped to commemorate colonialism.