The Essential Vermeer – a personal view



This year the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is staging what has been billed as the ‘largest’ exhibition of Vermeer’s work ever. If you were unlucky enough to miss out on getting a ticket for this unmissable, once-in-a-lifetime event, we have a wonderful alternative in store for you. Art historian Dr Richard Stemp, who delighted us with an on-line exploration of Vermeer’s The Milkmaid in 2021, will be at the Dutch Centre to guide us through a selection of the works shown.

His talk will introduce the Rijksmuseum’s display, seeking out the clues in the musical instruments, works of art, dress and interior décor that Vermeer depicts, in order to come to a fuller understanding of the varied implied meanings of the master’s enigmatic paintings – that very enigma being central to their compelling charm. And, to focus the exhibition still further, Richard Stemp will seek out the essential Vermeer: which of the 27 or 28 paintings on view, of the 35 or so which survive, best express his unique genius? You’ll have to come along to see what he decides!


Richard Stemp graduated from Clare College, Cambridge with a degree in Natural Sciences and the History of Art, and returned to complete a PhD on Sculpture in Ferrara in the Fifteenth Century. After a year at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts he has shared his time between art and acting. He was a lecturer at the National Gallery for 24 years, and has also worked on a regular basis at Tates Modern and Britain, the Wallace Collection, Buckingham Palace, and the V&A, as well as teaching on-site across Europe with Art History Abroad. His books include The Secret Language of the Renaissance and Churches and Cathedrals, and he has written and presented two series for Channel Four, Art in the National Gallery and Tate Modern, together with guest appearances on programmes as diverse as Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives and CBBC’s X-Change. He blogs about a wide range of art historical topics via his website, which also has information about his regular online lectures.



Doors open: 6.30pm

Talk begins: 7pm

Talk ends: 8.30pm

Event closes: 9pm

Event details

  • April 26, 2023
  • Wednesday, 7:00 PM to 9:00 AM

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Tickets details

  • Standard 68 remaining
  • Friend of the Dutch Centre 94 remaining
  • Student/Under 26 (valid ID required) 98 remaining
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The Essential Vermeer – a personal view

Wednesday, 7:00 PM to 9:00 AM
April 26, 2023


The Essential Vermeer – a personal view

Wednesday, 7:00 PM to 9:00 AM
April 26, 2023



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