Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Secret of Vermeer's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

The Rijksmuseumun owns four Vermeer masterpieces. One of them just underwent a restoration in preparation for an axhibit. While the Vermeer painting was being restored, The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (1663-64), a Rijksmuseumun restorer uncovered  some magnificent details not previously known about. Rijksmuseum restorer Ige Verslype has restored the painting to its original state. During his restoration he discovered how Vermeer produced such an intense blue color, he used a copper-green undercoat to give the blue incredible depth and intensity. Also, several pearls that were added in 1928 were removed, and other details that had disappeared were restored. The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter will be on display in a special exhibition in the Rijksmuseum.

This Vermeer masterpiece had four different frames during its 170 years. All four frames can be seen at the exhibit. Visitors to the exhibition will see how the choice of frame was very much affected by fashion at the time.

The painting is on display now at the Rijksmuseumun.

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