Vermeer And Music: The Art Of Love And Leisure at The National Gallery

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The Music Lesson - Johannes Vermeer - about 1662-3 © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013
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This summer an exhibition at the National Gallery presents artwork by Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries, juxtaposed with musical instruments and songbooks of the period, to explore the concept of music as one of the most popular motifs in Dutch painting.

Visitors can compare 17th-century virginals, guitars, lutes and other instruments with the paintings themselves to judge the accuracy of the depictions and understand the artistic liberties the painters might have taken to enhance the visual appeal of their work.

Forming the centrepiece are three magnificent paintings by Vermeer portraying female musicians, brought together for the first time in this exhibition. Plus Vermeer’s The Music Lesson is on show, on loan from the Queen.

From Thursdays to Saturdays live performances in the exhibition space bring the paintings to life with music of the period by the Academy of Ancient Music.

In addition to works by Vermeer, the exhibition includes paintings by Gerard ter Borch, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Godfried Schalcken.

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