Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), 'Woman with a Balance', c. 1663–4. Widener Collection. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), 'Woman with a Balance', c. 1663–4. Widener Collection. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.Credit

Press release 19/7/2017

Discover the fascinating connections between Vermeer and his contemporaries through a new interactive website www.connectvermeer.org 

A new interactive website, www.connectvermeer.org, designed to complement the National Gallery of Ireland’s current exhibition and catalogue, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry, will be launched on Wednesday 26th July 2017.

For many art lovers and museum visitors, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) stands out as the mysterious genius of Dutch seventeenth-century genre painting. However, as this website reveals, he was not working in isolation. 

Through interactive visualisations, this website allows users to discover the fascinating network of connections between Vermeer and his contemporaries, among them, Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen and Frans van Mieris. These artists were aware of each other’s work, drew inspiration from it, and attempted to surpass each other.  Users of the website www.connectvermeer.org can discover the strength of the relationships between the leading artists, the impact of an individual artist’s paintings on the work of his contemporaries, as well as how artists adopted, transformed and disguised ideas, from their peers’ work, in their own paintings.

Adriaan Waiboer, Head of Collections and Research, National Gallery of Ireland: 
“Very few exhibitions are complemented by a fantastic website such as this. Connect Vermeer is the result of an extraordinary research project conducted over the course of six years by the National Gallery of Ireland and our exhibition partners, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague. Their hard work, enthusiasm and belief in this undertaking ultimately led to an innovative and spectacular website that provides us with an insight into the relationships between Vermeer and Dutch genre painters in a way traditional publications would never be able to do.”

 


About the Project
For the purposes of this project, connections between paintings are any similarities in subject, composition, style and technique; these similarities between paintings were taken as indicators of an artist’s knowledge of another one’s work. Additionally, any evidence that the artists travelled to each other’s home towns or knew each other in passing is considered a ‘connection’ in this project. The rich content of the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) databases https://rkd.nl/nl/ was mined to identify these many connections either through examination of historical documents and literature, or through visual analysis of the paintings. All connections were then recorded in a single database which allowed the project team to analyse and visualise them in a more comprehensive and historically correct way than was hitherto possible. 

Project Team
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD)  
University of Regensburg
NOHO (web designers and developers)

Financial support for the preparatory research for the exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry (2017–18), of which Connect Vermeer was an important part. 
Thomas S. Kaplan and Dafna Recanati Kaplan
Otto Naumann Ltd
The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund 
Johnny van Haeften Ltd. 

Links
National Gallery of Ireland https://www.nationalgallery.ie/
National Gallery of Art, Washington https://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb.html    
Musée du Louvre, Paris http://www.louvre.fr/en
Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) https://rkd.nl/en/    
Noho https://noho.ie/    

Exhibition
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry
National Gallery of Ireland. Until 17 September 2017.
Advance booking online
Since it opened on 17 June 2017, the Gallery’s Vermeer exhibition has attracted over 32,000 visitors to date. Bringing together the work of Vermeer and contemporary painters of exquisite scenes of everyday life, this thought-provoking exhibition gives visitors an insight into how these artists admired, inspired, and rivalled each other. Time slots for the exhibition are booking out very quickly and most weekends are booked up in advance. Visitors are advised to pre-book their tickets online.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For visitors booking tickets for the exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry, please book your exhibition ticket online. If you are experiencing difficulties booking, email [email protected], or call 087 292 4 937 (between 9.15am and 5.15pm). Please note that due to high levels of traffic, it may take up to 24 hours to get back to you. 

The National Gallery of Ireland welcomes the support of Zurich Insurance plc as Exhibition Partner 

Zurich