The Vermeer retrospective attracted a record number of visitors to the Rijksmuseum

The painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer during the opening of the “Vermeer” exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.ANP image

The Rijksmuseum has managed to collect 28 of the 37 paintings by Johannes Vermeer. Seven of the artist’s paintings from Delft had never before been seen by the public in the Netherlands, including the three recently restored from the Frick (New York) collection. Girl reading a letter at the window From the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden.

Sunday was the last day of the exhibition, which the museum presented as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That message arrived loud and clear: Within a few days of opening on February 10, all 450,000 admission tickets were sold out. Used tickets have been widely requested and offered lower on Marktplaats and ticketing platform TicketSwap. On February 23, 44 candidates bid for two tickets via the US auction site eBay. They eventually went to a new owner for $2,724 (€2,530).

To meet the huge interest, the Rijksmuseum has decided to extend its opening hours to 11 p.m. As a result, another 200 thousand people were able to come to the exhibition. Of the total 650,000 visitors, 55 percent came from the Netherlands. Of the foreign visitors, 17 percent came from France, 17 percent from Germany and 16 percent from the United Kingdom.

The exhibition set more records for the Rijksmuseum. The accompanying catalog has been purchased 100,000 times, and an episode on Vermeer’s life and work was Rijks’ podcast most listened to with over 27,000 downloads.

The exhibition was an official part of the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron. The exhibition has also attracted a number of celebrities to Amsterdam. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis from the United States flew in specifically for this. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so you have to go,” she said. “It was well worth the trip from California.” Steven Spielberg also came to watch. The American director has quelled speculation that he would like to make a film about Johannes Vermeer.

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From 7 June to 10 October, six paintings by Vermeer will remain on display in the Honors Gallery at the Rijksmuseum. The girl in the red hat (National Gallery of Art, Washington) W young woman in a virgin (Leiden Collection, New York) Temporarily on display with the four works by Vermeer from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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