This summer the National Gallery is launching a new exhibition of works by Johannes Vermeer, which will be accompanied by music from resident ensemble the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM).

The exhibition, entitled ‘Vermeer & Music: The Art of Love & Leisure’, will feature three of his paintings which depict female musicians: A Young Woman standing at a Virginal, A Young Woman seated at a Virginal and The Guitar Player. Other works by Vermeer and his contemporaries will also be on show as part of the exhibition.

The AAM will perform on the hour every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the exhibition’s run, taking place from 26 June until 8 September. They said of the upcoming collaboration: ‘This is ‒ as far as we are aware, the first time that live music has featured as an ongoing part of a major art exhibition, and we are delighted to be collaborating with the National Gallery on this ground-breaking project.’

Betsy Wieseman, curator of Dutch paintings at the National Gallery, says that the exhibition presents a ‘marvellous opportunity’ for visitors to ‘understand the key role that music played in seventeenth-century Dutch art and society’.

‘We’re hoping that gallery visitors will experience the same sort of pleasurable musical associations our seventeenth-century predecessors would have had when looking at these evocative paintings by Vermeer and his contemporaries.’

EMT has a competition in the latest June–August issue, giving readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the exhibition. To find out how to enter, buy the latest issue of Early Music Today.

(Image credit: Johannes Vermeer’s ‘A Young Woman seated at a Virginal’ © The National Gallery, London)


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