Sunday 22 September 2013

Vermeer and Music

On the afternoon of Friday 23rd August 2013 I visited the Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure Exhibition at The National Gallery in London which featured the Academy of Ancient Music as Resident Ensemble. This exhibition explored the musical pastimes of the 17th-century Netherlands combining the art of Vermeer and his contemporaries with rare musical instruments, songbooks and live music.

For the first time the National Gallery’s two paintings by Vermeer, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal and A Young Woman seated at a Virginal were brought together with Vermeer’s Guitar Player. There were technical explanations of the paintings along with a recital from the Academy of Ancient Music. It was fantastic to hear the music from the period being played live being surrounded by these amazing paintings. In the 17th-century music was in the moment but with paintings like the Guitar Player the music can live forever.

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