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Vermeer - Die Malkunst: Spurensicherung an…
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Vermeer - Die Malkunst: Spurensicherung an einem Meisterwerk

by Sabine Haag

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Vermeer's iconic The Art of Painting has, since its re-discovery in the mid-19th century, attracted the attention of the low and the mighty. Sold by Count Czernin for a sizable sum to Adolf Hitler, the painting passed through the US army inventory to its current resting place, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The museum's changed, more commercially oriented charter led the quite venal former director of the museum to prostitute the painting in exhibitions around the world which required restorative work twice in less than a score of years.

This exhibition and the catalogue are the result of the painting's restoration, now under the guidance of a new, hopefully more diligent direction. I like the idea of devoting an exhibition to a single painting, of exploring its topic, its elements and its techniques in depth (although I am unlikely to understand the chemical processes at work and applied). I love the analysis and explanation of the painting's elements, especially the map in the background.

The catalogue is beautifully designed and illustrated with well-written articles (including English translations). The only aspect I didn't like are the rather weak modern "interventions" which turned out neither memorable nor fitting. Recommended. ( )
  jcbrunner | Mar 28, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sabine Haagprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wiensecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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