AMSTERDAM – The blockbuster exhibition of paintings by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer closed its doors for the final time on Sunday, with the art and history national museum of the Netherlands hailing the show as its most successful ever.
The Rijksmuseum said the exhibition that drew on collections around the world to bring together 28 of the 37 paintings generally ascribed to Vermeer attracted 650,000 visitors from 113 countries during its 16-week run that started in early February.
The large number of visitors — including French President Emmanuel Macron, movie director Steven Spielberg and Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis — came despite the museum limiting numbers to ensure everybody got a good view of masterpieces such as “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “The Milkmaid.”
“Vermeer is the artist of peacefulness and intimacy. We wanted the visitors to enjoy it to the fullest,” museum general director Taco Dibbits said. “This was only possible by limiting the number of visitors.”
The exhibition included seven paintings that had never previously been displayed publicly in the Netherlands, among them three from The Frick Collection in New York.
For art lovers who didn't manage to get their hands on one of the highly-sought-after tickets, six Vermeer paintings will remain on show in the Rijksmuseum's Gallery of Honor — four from the museum's own collection along with “The Girl with the Red Hat" from the National Gallery of Art in Washington and ”Young Woman Seated at a Virginal" from The Leiden Collection in New York.