"Girl with a Pearl Earring" Johannes Vermeer (ca. 1665)
Last week I made a second visit to the Frick Collection to see my favourite exhibit of 2013. “Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis” is a small collection of 15 works from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Netherlands. It’s a fantastic exhibit that proved to be just as enthralling on a second viewing.
The show offers some of the best examples of the Dutch Golden Age of painting including two Frans Hals portraits; four Rembrandts, one of which, the biblical “Susanna” (1636), captures the terrifying moment when she realizes she’s being watched; Pieter Claesz’ “Vanitas Still Life” (1630) complete with human skull; and Gerard ter Borch’s delightful “Woman Writing a Letter” (ca. 1655).
"The Goldfinch" Carl Fabritius (1654)
While I loved seeing the Girl, my favourite painting in the exhibit was Carl Fabritius’ exquisite “The Goldfinch” (1654). The tiny work that shows a beautiful little bird tied to his feed box with a slight chain was done as a trompe-l'oeil, made to trick viewers into thinking they were looking at a live bird. The little goldfinch’s soft down combined with the play of light and shadows on the canvas do indeed give him a lifelike appearance. It’s a thoroughly delightful painting, one that I could look at everyday.
The exhibit is at the Frick through January 19, 2014. I plan on seeing it one last time before it leaves and suggests everyone else do the same. For more info, go here.