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Dalí ontmoet Vermeer : moderne meesters te gast

Dalí meets Vermeer: modern masters come to visit at the Mauritshuis Exhibition: 15 September - 11 December 2011

The Mauritshuis, which is renowned for its magnificent collection of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, presents modern and old masters together this autumn. Masterpieces by artists such as Van Gogh, Monet and Dalí will be exhibited alongside highlights from the museum’s own collection. Dalí meets Vermeer: modern masters come to visit couples old and modern paintings in refreshing combinations, and displays one pair in each room of the museum. The confrontations will invite comparison and closer examination, revealing how painters of different eras grappled with the same artistic problems. Carel Blotkamp, Professor Emeritus of Modern Art at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is the exhibition’s guest curator.

The Mauritshuis owns a world-famous collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the seventeenth century, including masterpieces by Dutch artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen and Hals, Flemish painters such as Rubens and Brueghel, and the German artist Holbein.

Surprising pairings

This autumn, a number of these seventeenth-century masters will be joined by a selection of international modern artists. All of these loans come from Dutch museum collections and were created during the period 1860-1960. For example, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring will be installed next to Dalí’s Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), paintings that reveal surprisingly similar silhouette and colouring effects. Rogier van der Weyden and Francis Bacon both give their own interpretation of the Passion of Christ. For Rembrandt and Charley Toorop, the self-portrait represented a key artistic challenge, while Jan Both and Paul Cézanne both captured Mediterranean light beautifully in their landscapes.
Eleven pairs of paintings will be displayed throughout the museum, occupying one wall in every room. Mauritshuis Director Emilie Gordenker explains: “The interplay and combined effect of the artworks offers an opportunity to look at 17th-century painting in a fresh way. The exhibition will also demonstrate the richness of Dutch art collections, and has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of modern art museums throughout the Netherlands.”

Carel Blotkamp

Guest curator and Professor Emeritus of Modern Art Carel Blotkamp has organised a number of exhibitions (usually in collaboration with other parties or groups of students). These include The Age of Van Gogh: Dutch Painting 1880-1895 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 1991) and Magie en Zakelijkheid: Realistische schilderkunst in Nederland 1925-1945 (Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem, 1999-2000). In 2005, at the invitation of the Stedelijk Museum CS in Amsterdam, he brought together the exhibition Leporello: A Trip through the Collection 1874 – 2004.


The Dutch-language magazine Kunstschrift will publish a special issue dedicated to Dalí meets Vermeer: modern masters come to visit, in which it will consider the tradition of art-historical comparisons of old and modern masters. Kunstschrift is available in the Mauritshuis shop, priced at €10.25.


Dalí meets Vermeer: modern masters come to visit is supported by the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation. The educational programme that will accompany the display has been made possible thanks to the financial support of Shell Nederland B.V.