Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (circa 1663–64), which resides in the collection of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, will visit the West Coast of the United States for the first time, going on view at Los Angeles’s Getty Center from Feb. 16 through March 31. The painting is on a tour that has also brought it to Shanghai and São Paulo, while the Rijksmuseum is being renovated. It is scheduled to reopen this spring.
From the Getty’s news release:
“‘This truly represents an extraordinary opportunity for Southern California,’ explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. ‘Vermeer’s Woman in Blue is one of his greatest and most famous masterpieces. It has very rarely traveled outside of Amsterdam and this is the painting’s first visit to the West Coast. Vermeer’s paintings of women reading letters and engaged in other private, domestic activities have a unique intimacy and reality to them that can only be fully appreciated in the flesh. His finest works, like the Woman in Blue, have a magical immediacy that has never been rivaled.'”
Though New Yorkers will miss out on this opportunity to see Woman in Blue, they can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which owns five works by the Sphinx of Delft, as the artist is known. Scholars have identified only 35 paintings by Vermeer.
Let’s close this out with a recording of Jonathan Richman’s “No One Was Like Vermeer” in the video below, which includes reproductions of the master’s work.