Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

Inspiration and Rivalry

Adriaan E. Waiboer, with Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. and Blaise Ducos, and with contributions by Piet Bakker, Quentin Buvelot, E. Melanie Gifford, Lisha Deming Glinsman, Eddy Schavemaker, Eric Jan Sluijter, and Marjorie E. Wieseman

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A landmark exploration of the engaging network of relationships among genre painters of the Dutch Golden Age 

The genre painting of the Dutch Golden Age between 1650 and 1675 ranks among the highest pinnacles of Western European art.  The virtuosity of these works, as this book demonstrates, was achieved in part thanks to a vibrant artistic rivalry among numerous first-rate genre painters working in different cities across the Dutch Republic.  They drew inspiration from each other’s painting, and then tried to surpass each other in technical prowess and aesthetic appeal. 
The Delft master Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) is now the most renowned of these painters of everyday life.  Though he is frequently portrayed as an enigmatic figure who worked largely in isolation, the essays here reveal that Vermeer’s subjects, compositions, and figure types in fact owe much to works by artists from other Dutch cities.  Enlivened with 180 superb illustrations, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting highlights the relationships – comparative and competitive – among Vermeer and his contemporaries, including Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, and Frans van Mieris.

Adriaan E. Waiboer is curator of northern European art at the National Gallery of Ireland. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. is curator of northern baroque paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Blaise Ducos is curator of 17th-and 18th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musée du Louvre. 


Musee du Louvre

National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

“[An] impressive catalogue . . . [that] brings welcome and enduring order to a phenomenon in Dutch painting that occurred between about 1650 and 1675: a flourishing of paintings of indoor activities, rendered with extraordinary attention to light effects, color, and texture. . . . Highly recommended.”—A. Golahny, Choice

“Informative and illuminating . . . learned but readable, and mercifully free of academic jargon.”—Paul A. Cantor, Weekly Standard

Chosen as one of the Art Books of the Year by Nicola Gordon Bowe in the Irish Arts Review (Winter 2017)

“An extraordinary exhibition . . . [An] excellent catalog . . . Works are discussed and illustrated in clusters . . . and the general fact of influence is as fascinating as it is indisputable.”—Joseph Leo Koerner, New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9780300222937
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the National Gallery of Ireland
320 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2
180 color illus.
Perfect Likeness

European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum

Julie Aronson and Marjorie E. Wieseman

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Jan Lievens

A Dutch Master Rediscovered

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr.; With Stephanie S. Dickey, E.

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Gabriel Metsu

Edited by Adriaan E. Waiboer

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Gabriel Metsu

Life and Work: A Catalogue Raisonné

Adriaan Waiboer

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Vermeer and Music

The Art of Love and Leisure

Marjorie E. Wieseman

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