Record ticket pre-sales for Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum

The upcoming Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum has become the museum's biggest ever presale with over 100,000 tickets sold and a month to go before the doors open.

The exhibition is the museum's first ever retrospective exhibition on the 17th-century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). It unites 28 of the artist's 37 known works - the largest-ever collection of Vermeer paintings displayed in a temporary exhibition.  The last major Vermeer retrospective was in 1995-96, in Washington, DC, and The Hague.

The show will include the Rijksmuseum's own Vermeer masterpieces including the world-famous The Milkmaid and View of Houses in Delft, Known as ‘The Little Street’ as well as loans from other institutions including The Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Geographer.
Johannes Vermeer, The Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) from the Mauritshuis © Mauritshuis, Den Haag
Johannes Vermeer, The Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) from the Mauritshuis© Mauritshuis, Den Haag

Only nine known works by the artist will be missing. One was stolen from a Boston museum in 1990; two, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, cannot be lent because of the terms of their bequest; and another, from the Louvre, is on loan elsewhere. Most of the rest are too frail to travel.

The hang is to be roughly chronological, from Vermeer’s early paintings of the mid-1650s up until his late works completed shortly before his death in 1675. But the strict chronology will be broken up occasionally, to emphasise themes or the artist’s ambitions.

In conjunction with the exhibition planning, all seven of the Dutch Vermeers have been subjected to a detailed technical analysis which has allowed us to understand the way in which the artist carefully planned and constructed his pictures. This material will mainly be presented in exhibition catalogue.

For those wanting to dig a bit deeper into Vermeer's life before visiting the show, the museum has launched a website Closer to Johannes Vermeer which allows viewers to explore Vermeer's life and works through high resolution images and commentary by actor, Stephen Fry.

A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue accompanying the Vermeer show at the Rijksmuseum is being published at the end of February 2023 and is available for preorder.

The exhibition runs 10 February - 4 June 2023, 9:00 to 17:00 with extended hours until 22:00 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Ticket prices start from € 23.50 per person.