August 25, 2021

The Palette is available to all interested with an e-Subscription

In this issue:

Every Year, Artists Flock for the Chance to Win This Duck Stamp Contest
Quilting store offers supplies, services, education
South Bend man, a former gang member, says graffiti art saved him and gives his life meaning
Banksy Goes on Mural-Making Spree as Part of ‘Great British Spraycation’
The 'blackest' black: How a color controversy sparked a years-long art feud
Is Rome’s House of Michelangelo the Real Deal?
First full image of ‘new’ Vermeer with uncovered Cupid released by Dresden museum


Every Year, Artists Flock for the Chance to Win This Duck Stamp Contest
The competition raises millions of dollars annually for the preservation of wetlands and wildlife from sales of $25 duck-themed stamps.

Kira Fennell, a 22-year-old artist from Inver Grove Heights in Minnesota, has been working around the clock in recent days, sometimes up to 10 hours a day, touching up and perfecting a painting of a duck that she’s been working on for weeks. Fennell is on a race against time to complete her third submission to the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, an esoteric but highly competitive annual competition organized by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, before the submission deadline on August 15.

The competition raises millions of dollars annually for the preservation of wetlands and wildlife from sales of $25 duck-themed stamps. Purchasing the stamps is mandatory for anyone applying for a migratory bird hunting license. In addition, a Federal Duck Stamp grants free pass into any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee. Dating back to 1934, the program has raised more than $1.1 billion to conserve more than 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat, according to the Fish & Wildlife Service.

For the competition, artists must choose one of five bird species: the greater white-fronted goose; Ross’s Goose; blue-winged teal; redhead; or king eider. The winner does not receive a cash prize but past winners are known to have sold prints in hundreds of thousands to collectors, earning the competition the moniker, “Million-Dollar Duck.”

The relatively unknown competition has made headlines this year, becoming the center of a cultural war between American conservatives and liberals. A recent proposal by the Joe Biden administration aims to reverse the Trump administration’s requirement that Federal Duck Stamps feature a hunting theme. Trump’s 2020 revision to the rules of the Federal Duck Stamp contest mandated a “waterfowl hunting-related scene or accessory in every entry.” At the time, wildlife artists who were not keen on depicting bird hunting scenes protested the move, saying it infringed on their artistic freedom. Now, some hunting groups are seething against Biden’s reversal of the rule, which they find offensive to the American waterfowl hunting heritage, Bloomberg reported.

“Hunters are the people that pay, and paid for, the North American model of conservation,” wrote hunter Mike Mancini from Monroe, Wisconsin in an online comment on the proposal filed in a governmental website. “We should be celebrated, not denigrated, for our efforts.”

Mancini’s comment is countered by many other self-identified hunters supporting the Biden administration’s revision. The change would come into effect in the 2022 contest. But this year, artists must abide by Trump’s rules, leading contestants like Fennell to feature a hunter in the distance, shotgun hulls floating in the water, or unused hunting gear, to avoid any direct depictions of bird shooting (the competition’s rules ban depictions of dead birds).

Meanwhile, Fennell has become the young face of the competition thanks to her viral TikTok videos, in which she explains the contest and chronicles the progress of her submission. Her engaging and endearing videos, co-starred by her cat Elton, drew new audiences to an otherwise obscure competition, with thousands cheering for her to win this year’s competition. The artist also received a recent feature on BuzzFeed, which further swelled her fandom.

Fennell was drawn to the contest by her grandfather, who is a hunter when he sowed her the stamps about two years ago. “I have been obsessed since then and entering the contest every year,” she told Hyperallergic in an interview.

When asked about the unlikely popularity of her Tik Tok videos, Fennell explained: “I think it reminds people of nature paintings in art classes in elementary school and middle school that they forgot about.”

For her submission, Fennell chose to depict two Ross’s Gooses flying over a lake while a hunter on a boat is preparing decoys in the background. “I like their white feathers in the sun,” she said, explaining her preference.

According to Fennell, hyperrealism is one of the requirements of the contest. “They demand hyperrealism because they want the anatomy of birds to be accurate,” she explained, adding, “I really love the creative entries but they never progress that far.”

Though she was voted out of the contest last year, Fennell is far from giving up. This time, she’s also coming with a flock of supporters who will be closely following the contest’s live stream on September 24 and 25 (the contest includes three rounds).

“In my opinion, you already won,” wrote one of her followers in a comment on her latest video. Hyperallergic


Quilting store offers supplies, services, education

A new business specializing in all things quilting opened this month in Rocky Mount.

Fork Mtn Quilting offers high-quality fabrics and tools for quilting and sewing projects, and the space also has a classroom that will host programs for all experience levels, from beginner to advanced, said Todd Cassell, who launched the business with his wife, Melissa.

Fork Mtn Quilting also has a longarm quilting machine that can be used to finish customers’ completed quilt tops. Todd Cassell said their longarm machine is computerized, meaning many different, intricate patterns can be used to finish quilts.

Quilting has been a hobby of Melissa Cassell’s for much of her life, and she had many quilt tops she’d been unable to find the time to complete, Todd Cassell said. Last year she approached her husband about buying a longarm machine so she could do so. Because it’s a significant investment, he countered that she should look into offering the service to others out of their Franklin County home.

They purchased the longarm machine and Melissa Cassell’s business quickly took off, with customers sending her quilt tops from as far away as Oregon and Arizona, Todd Cassell said. Plus, she was able to finish her own quilting projects.

The next step was opening the retail store.
“There was really no place in the area that offered high quality fabrics that were specifically designed for the quilting world,” Todd Cassell said.

There’s already a lot of enthusiasm around the classes Fork Mtn Quilting plans to offer, he said, probably starting in September. Sharing the art of quilting with others, particularly the younger generation, is one of the couple’s goals.

“We’ve had a good response from all ages, from 16 years old up to 90,” he said. “It’s just been a tremendous spectrum of people who are interested in quilting and what it means to quilt and where it comes from.”

Todd Cassell said they felt strongly about locating their business in Rocky Mount.

“We really wanted to be in Rocky Mount because of the focus on the arts and the artisan-type businesses that are there,” he said.

Fork Mtn Quilting is at 400 Old Franklin Turnpike, Suite 115. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The Roanoke Times


South Bend man, a former gang member, says graffiti art saved him and gives his life meaning

Sammy Aguirre doesn't know what might have happened to him if a group of artists using a wall as a canvas hadn't caught his eye.

But he believes it would not have been good.

"I was supposed to go and do something bad, and I believe that seeing those artists that day is what saved my life," he said. "Because that thing I was going to do, I wasn't... I don't think I would have come back."

Aguirre, 32, said he was living in Chicago and was involved in the gang life. And in that life, a person does what they have to do to survive. He won't talk too much about what he had planned to do that day. He just says that he was up to no good.

"A couple hours later, there was a drive-by (shooting) ... and if it wasn’t for me looking to the right and looking into the color of the murals, I think I would not be here today," he said.

"I always give God thanks for that."

Aguirre said that he'd passed by that wall and those graffiti artists daily when he was on the streets, but this time, the bright colors of the artwork transfixed him. And he noticed something that both saved and changed his life.

Thinking back, he said the things that he liked about the images on the wall reminded him of what he saw in the drawings done by his father who used pencils and pens to draw hot rods, pictures of women and horses.

He stopped to watch the street artist work and one of them happened to notice the young man watching them. The artist approached Aguirre with an aerosol can in his hand and asked him if he had ever tagged before. Aguirre drew, but he hadn't done graffiti art, so the artist asked him if he wanted to try.
Those artists showed Aguirre the ropes and eventually he started to catch on. Becoming a street artist changed Aguirre's life. But that didn't mean he was no longer getting into trouble.

Aguirre had moved between Chicago and South Bend throughout his teen years. He started high school in Chicago and attended Washington High School in South Bend before going back to Chicago, where he started hanging out and getting in trouble.

He focused on his art when he returned to South Bend, but one person's art is another person's vandalism. Aguirre said that tagging buildings eventually caught up with him.

"I actually got caught trying to do my murals with no permission and spent two nights in jail," he said.

However, two people saw Aguirre's talent and encouraged him to focus it in a more positive direction. A fellow artist told him to approach businesses and ask the owners if they would be wiling to allow him to paint their walls.

His grandmother, who owned the family business, Taqueria Chicago restaurant in South Bend, also encouraged Aguirre to stop tagging.

But he wasn't ready to stop because at that point, he felt he had not other outlet. So he tried to be more discrete.

"I was trying to hit roof tops or anything that was higher up," he said.

"By my grandma, who knew what I was up to, said, 'why don't you just stop the madness,'" Aguirre said. "'I will let you do the restaurant.'"

Aguirre eventually painted the mural that adorns the side wall of the popular Mexican restaurant on Western Avenue. His grandmother's vote of confidence was important because it gave him legitimacy.

"That was when I knew that my art could go beyond where I was at because I was getting so much positive attention," he said. "People would be stopping by and saying, 'Wow, that's amazing, or hey, can you do my business.'"

Aguirre started to branch out. He did murals for businesses and he moved into different mediums, such as air brushing. He still finds time to paint between raising his family, which includes his wife and four children, and his job as a welder.

"I use aerosol cans when I do walls," he said. "I airbrush things like T-shirts and any type of clothing. I can airbrush vehicles."

Angel Rivera, who is a friend, asked Aguirre to do a mural on his garage door.

"I have a big garage door that is basically a white canvas, and I gave him my garage and told him to do whatever he wanted to," Rivera said. "And he came up with this beautiful Batman and Joker picture."

Rivera said that Aguirre was one of the first people he met when he moved to the area, and that friendship is one reason why he allowed his garage door to become a canvas.

"I just wanted to show some support and love to someone who is doing something positive," he said.

Positivity serves as Aguirre's driving force when he is creating.

The people who hire him don't give him a lot of instructions.

"When it's a business, they actually let me know what they want," he said. "They will say 'put this, but then go all out...You're an artist. Amaze me.'"

In those moments, he pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts and activate his imagination.
Sometimes, he sketches out designs or he will look at the wall and use his imagination to project the images in his head onto the canvas.

"And then," he said, "I lose it and I put on my music and go." South Bend Tribune


Banksy Goes on Mural-Making Spree as Part of ‘Great British Spraycation’

The elusive street artist Banksy is at it once again, producing a slew of works that have appeared along the east coast of England, the country he calls home. He confirmed that he was the creator of the works by way of an Instagram video focused on his travels in a camper van.

The first of the murals, featuring a couple dancing atop a bus shelter and a man playing an accordion, was spotted in Great Yarmouth, followed by one showing an arcade toy-grabber crane that appeared in the nearby town of Gorleston. More artworks—one depicting a child building a sandcastle with a crowbar in Lowestoft, the other featuring three children in a boat in Oulton Broad—soon arrived.

In an unusual move for the graffiti artist, Banksy also left a miniature thatched stable bearing his signature at the Merrivale Model Village.

In the short film posted to Instagram, titled “A Great British Spraycation,” the artist is shown finishing a mural of a rat sipping a cocktail.

The post helped bring attention to some of the more innocuous murals created during the art-making spree, such as an ice cream cone and tongue added to a statue of Frederick Savage, a 19th century mayor of King’s Lynn. The film also captures the reaction of passersby, with one local calling Banksy’s mural of the girl building a sandcastle “mindless vandalism.”

One of the murals from this prolific period is already gone. Earlier this week, a Banksy mural depicting two children on an inflatable dinghy was taken off view by local authorities in Great Yarmouth. Council members in the town told the BBC that the artwork was covered up amid “sensitivity” to a young girl who died after being flung from an inflatable trampoline on a nearby beach in 2018. The Great Yarmouth Borough Council said concealing the work was “the right decision, respecting local people and feelings.” ARTnews


The 'blackest' black: How a color controversy sparked a years-long art feud

For decades, the idea that somebody can "own" a color has been a contentious one.

Painter Yves Klein registered a trademark for a shade of ultramarine called International Klein Blue in 1957, and jewelry brand Tiffany & Co.'s signature blue is also protected. More recently, in 2016 sculptor Anish Kapoor purchased the artistic rights to Vantablack, a material described as the "the darkest man-made substance." The substance is made of carbon nanotubes, that reflect virtually no light.

But Kapoor's exclusive license of Vantablack proved controversial, sparking a years-long feud with Stuart Semple, a British artist who has since set out to "liberate" colors from private ownership. Having created several of his own "coloriest colors," Semple then made them available to everyone in the world -- apart from Kapoor.

This month, his studio launched Blink, which is touted as the "blackest black ink" and is priced at just $16 a bottle.

"That's the whole point of liberating the colors. If we liberated them and then they were hideously expensive, it would defeat the whole object," Semple told CNN.

He has also developed a "blackest black paint in the world," to rival Vantablack.

Semple, who grew up making his own oil pastels because he couldn't afford art store prices, said that controlling who can use a certain color is "sad."

"That, to me at least, really is against the idea of sharing, generosity, community -- what art materials should be for," he added. "As human beings we have a right to express ourselves. It's basic freedom, and I think to do that we need the tools and materials."

It's a mantra that underpins Semple's studio, Culture Hustle, which sells exuberant art materials from the "glowiest glow" pigment to dust claiming to be the "most glittery glitter."

"I really don't think price or wealth should preclude you from expressing yourself," he said.

Long-running dispute

One of Culture Hustle's best known products is a powdered paint dubbed the "world's pinkest pink," although the product description admits that the studio is "not actually sure" it's the brightest pink ever, just "the pinkest we could come up with, and we've not seen anything pinker."

Developed in direct response Kapoor's Vantablack deal, the product came with a notice prohibiting the British-Indian sculptor -- or anyone acting on his behalf -- from purchasing it. This move was itself an artwork, said Semple, who described the disclaimer as a "poem."

"The idea was if only one person can have Vantablack, what if everyone in the world can have the pink except that one person?" Semple said, adding he intended for the product "to raise a dialogue in a debate about ownership and elitism and privilege and access to the arts."

According to Surrey NanoSystems, the British manufacturer that created Vantablack, Kapoor's studio still holds an exclusive license to the technology that "limits the coating's use in the field of art, but does not extend to any other sectors."

Because Vantablack is not produced as paint or pigment in the traditional sense, NanoSystems says it is "generally not suitable for use in art due to the way in which it's made." A form of the substance that can be sprayed onto surfaces, called Vantablack S-VIS, requires "specialist application," the company says. For that reason, the company decided to give artistic rights exclusively to Kapoor in 2016.

Semple was one of several artists to protest the deal. Kapoor defended himself in an interview with The Guardian, saying, "It's a collaboration (with Surrey NanoSystems), because I am wanting to push them to a certain use for it. I've collaborated with people who make things out of stainless steel for years and that's exclusive."

He attributed the backlash to the "emotive" power of the color black, stating that the response would have been different if he had licensed a shade of white. "Perhaps the darkest black is the

When the spat first started, a spokesperson for Kapoor told BuzzFeed News his lawyers would take "appropriate action" and that Semple had used the sculptor's name as a "promotion tool." (Semple said no legal action was ever taken.) Kapoor's representatives did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

The feud turned into one of contemporary art's most high-profile rivalries. Eventually, Kapoor got his hands on Semple's paint and posted an image of him flipping a pink-stained middle finger to Instagram with the caption "up yours" -- an act Semple called "kind of evil and wrong."

Since his "pinkest pink," Semple has gone on to create a color that is strikingly similar to International Klein Blue, called "Easy Klein: IKB Incredibly Kleinish Blue." His studio also makes what it calls the "greenest green" and -- crucially -- paint it claims to be the "blackest black."

Culture Hustle's "BLACK 3.0" acrylic paint isn't technically darker than Vantablack, which absorbs around 99.96% of visible light. (Semple said his creation absorbs "somewhere between 98% and 99%"). While Vantablack is a structural color made from lab-grown carbon nanotubes roughly one millionth of a millimeter in size, Semple's products are pigment-based. But, according to Semple, the affect is the same: Objects covered in his blackest paint appear flat to the naked eye.

"It's slightly less (absorbent than Vantablack), but you and I don't really have developed enough eyes to be able to measure that," Semple said.

'Cat and mouse chase'

Culture Hustle's team consists of two color scientists, who use a spectrometer to test their claims, as well as hundreds of "beta testers": artists who use the products and offer feedback.

In addition to creating new products, the studio also revises and improves old formulas to make them even more vivid. Its pinkest pink, for instance, is now "ten times" pinker than the original formulation, Semple said.

Although the 40-year-old insists he never intended to sell paint, Culture Hustle has built a community of creatives who tag and share artwork made using the materials on social media. But while Semple promotes collaboration and camaraderie in what he calls an "elite art world dominated by some very powerful artists," he appears to be, nonetheless, motivated by a certain competitiveness.

"I think when Kapoor got the pink, I always had in the back of my mind that the ultimate thing to do would be to create an even pinker one, or one that he hasn't got," he said, describing the rivalry as a "cat and mouse chase."

"He was one of my heroes. I loved his work," Semple said. "(I saw his) pigment works when I was a teenager.

"You know someone you really admire and look up to, then (they do) something horrendous? It stings twice as much in a strange way." CNN style


Is Rome’s House of Michelangelo the Real Deal?
A facade is all that remains of the fabled home of the Renaissance artist but the story around it raises more questions than it answers.

At the southern end of the Passeggiata del Gianicolo, a street that runs along the crest of the high Janiculan hill south of St Peter’s, leads out a gap cut into the city walls and the cars pour out into a main nearby artery, the via Aurelia. Unnoticed, the cars roar past a strange building, just a façade set into the hill. This is all that remains of the house of one of the greatest artists ever to have worked in Rome, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564 CE). Or is it? Because this is not really the place where Michelangelo lived and died, and behind this façade there is no house at all. Like many monuments big and small in Rome, the “house of Michelangelo” tells a story that is only in part the one we expect, and adds a dose of fantasy and wishful thinking to bricks, mortar, and stone.

Michelangelo spent the greater part of his life in Rome. Though he is claimed by Tuscany, whose grand duke ordered the smuggling of the artist’s body to Florence less than a month after his death, he could fairly be considered a Roman artist. Michelangelo’s legend as a solitary, sullen genius was not entirely undeserved. But the “tortured, lonely” artist we know from Charlton Heston’s performance in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) in reality had assistants mixing his plaster and paints, a staff of servants at home, friends visiting him (including the love of his later life, the Roman nobleman Tommaso de’ Cavalieri), and his brothers and nephews passing through frequently.

In 1513, the family of pope Julius II, the della Rovere, gave Michelangelo the use of a house in the part of central Rome called the Macel de’ Corvi, where a food and meat market was regularly held along the narrow streets. The della Rovere hoped to spur Michelangelo to finish the tomb of their pope. In the event, the tomb project lasted decades, and the house became more and more Michelangelo’s own. His earliest biographers, Ascanio Condivi and Giorgio Vasari, are frustratingly vague about the location of his house. However, no one could describe the Macel de’ Corvi as a prestigious address. It was noisy, for one thing, because during Michelangelo’s residency the nearby guild church of the bakers, S. Maria di Loreto, was going up, visible from his windows. The area stank, as it was full of the market’s garbage, including rotting meat and bones. Michelangelo himself, in his stingy and curmudgeonly old age, described his house in a poem (Rime, 267): “I’m here shut up like the pulp of a fruit enclosed by its peel, here poor and alone, like a genie in a bottle … where Arachne and her thousand workers [ie, spiders] make fuses of their threads. My front hall’s a toilet for giants, who eat [too many] grapes or took medicine, and the whole lot don’t go elsewhere to shit. I’ve learned to know urine and the channel from which it drips, thanks to those losers who buzz around me in the morning. [Dead] cats, carrion, vile mushrooms, cesspits…” His was not mere complaining: he viewed the physical world with horror and took solace in the spirit. So when we think about Michelangelo’s house, we shouldn’t think about an elegant palazzo, because that was not what he wanted. Other artists lived well: Raphael, for instance, his hated contemporary, inhabited a beautiful palace by Bramante near St Peter’s. Michelangelo was rich. He liked the squalor.

The Macel de’ Corvi house was irregular. Its main entrance, the “toilet for giants” he mentions above, was on a cross-street, via de’ Fornai. It was described as an irregular house with a courtyard and a little kitchen garden, made up of several low buildings where Michelangelo lived with his servants, and a self-contained tower in part of the property, probably a medieval hold-over. His workshop was on the ground floor of the house, with a little dining area. On the floor above, there were two bedrooms and the rooms for his servant-women, who he described as “whores and sows.” (He must have been a horrible boss.) The only person he trusted in his house was his valet, Francesco Urbino.

Fast-forward to after Michelangelo’s death in 1564. His heir, his nephew Leonardo [not the famed artist], took possession of the house, and lived in the tower, renting the rest to Michelangelo’s former pupil Daniele da Volterra, but the latter died only two years later, in 1566. In 1572, Leonardo Buonarroti sold the whole property. Michelangelo’s house passed through several different proprietors, each time undergoing alterations and improvements, but it was all wiped away after Rome became capital of the united kingdom of Italy in 1871. The whole area between piazza Venezia and via de’ Fornai, including the house, was demolished and a big neo-Renaissance office building was built over the site and its network of streets. Two plaques on the new building commemorate the house’s approximate location.

But the house of Michelangelo had an afterlife. An architect, Domenico Jannetti, saved a façade from Michelangelo’s city block, possibly the facing of the interior courtyard, and reconstructed it some time around 1880. He set it up as the front of his own house on the nearby via delle Tre Pile, a street graded for easy carriage traffic that took a hairpin turn to climb the Capitoline hill, next to the Michelangelo-designed ramp up to the piazza del Campidoglio. The façade stood at the hairpin turn, and Jannetti probably made significant alterations to it so it would conform to his pre-existing house there. Here it gained some fame as “the house of Michelangelo,” a recognizable landmark.

Even here, the façade found no peace. In 1930, Mussolini’s plans to isolate the slopes of the Capitoline hill brought the façade down again. In 1941, the city’s water system demanded an underground reservoir atop the Janiculan hill, and the project engineer got the stone arches and pilasters out of the city’s warehouses and rebuilt it as the street frontage of the new reservoir. That is where it is today.

One final twist. We don’t know, and can’t know, whether this façade ever had anything to do with Michelangelo’s actual house. When his via de’ Fornai/Macel de’ Corvi house was demolished, there was no paper trail, no plan of the building with which to compare this structure. It certainly came from the same block; it is convincingly like a house of the early sixteenth century. But it doesn’t have anything of the ramshackle quality that his contemporaries described. Even the plaque put up by the fascist Governatorate of Rome above one of the façade’s doorways describes it as the “house said to be of Michelangelo.” In the end, it’s the ghost of a house, the façade of an idea. Michelangelo, disdainer of his house as of all material things, might like that. Hyperallergic


First full image of ‘new’ Vermeer with uncovered Cupid released by Dresden museum
Drastically altered composition of Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window can now be seen in all its glory ahead of major exhibition

Art lovers get ready to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, as the first image of the completed restoration of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window (around 1657-59) has been released today by Dresden’s Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, fully revealing a hidden image of Cupid. The change to the composition in one of Vermeer’s most famous paintings is so great that the German museum is dubbing it a “new” Vermeer in publicity materials.

The painting has been in the museum’s collection for more than 250 years and the hidden Cupid had been known about since an x-ray in 1979 and infrared reflectography in 2009. It had been assumed that the artist himself had altered the composition by covering over the painting of Cupid.

But when a major restoration project began in May 2017, conservators discovered that the paint on the wall in the background of the painting, covering the naked Cupid, had in fact been added by another person. When layers of varnish from the 19th century began to be removed from the painting, the conservators discovered that the “solubility properties” of the paint in the central section of the wall were different to those elsewhere in the painting.

Following further investigations, including tests in an archaeometry laboratory, it was discovered that layers of binding agent and a layer of dirt existed between the image of Cupid and the overpainting. The conservators concluded that several decades would have passed between the completion of one layer and the addition of the next and therefore concluded that Vermeer could not have painted over the Cupid himself.

When the discovery was announced to the public in 2019, the senior conservator Uta Neidhardt said that it was “the most sensational experience of my career”. She added: “It makes it a different painting.”

The layer of overpaint was meticulously removed using a scalpel under a microscope, revealing the startlingly altered composition. The painting will go on show next month for the first time since the restoration as the star piece in a major exhibition titled Johannes Vermeer: On Reflection (10 September-2 January 2022) at the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. The exhibition will include ten Vermeer paintings in total, making it one of the most significant shows on the Dutch Old Master in recent years (there are only around 35 extent Vermeer paintings).

Among the standout loans in the show are The Geographer (1669) from the Städel Museum in Frankfurt; View of Houses in Delft/The Little Street (around 1658) from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; and A Young Woman standing at a Virginal (around 1670-72) from the National Gallery in London, which has a similar painting of Cupid in the background. The Art Newspaper




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