From the museum website, 15 February 2011
The astonishing intimacy of interior scenes by Johannes Vermeer and his seventeenth-century contemporaries will be explored in an exhibition opening at the Fitzwilliam in Autumn 2011: Vermeer’s women: secrets and silence.
At the heart of this visually stunning exhibition is Vermeer’s extraordinary painting The Lacemaker (c.1669-70) – one of the Musée du Louvre’s most famous works, rarely seen outside Paris and now on loan to the UK for the first time. The painting will be joined by a choice selection of other key works by Vermeer representing the pinnacle of his mature career, and over thirty other masterpieces of genre painting from the Dutch ‘Golden Age’. Featuring works from museums and private collections in the UK, Europe and the USA – many of which have never been on public display in Britain – this Cambridge showing will be the only chance to see these masterworks brought together in one location.
Celebrating the eerie calm of Vermeer’s carefully-crafted images of young women in domestic interiors, Vermeer’s women: secrets and silence will be the first exhibition of its kind to focus exclusively on the mysterious and enigmatic world created by Vermeer in some of the best loved and most characteristic works from his later career. The exhibition will also trace the impact of his unique compositions on contemporary masters of Dutch genre painting, including Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Nicolaes Maes and Jan Steen.