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Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

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Karen S. Chambers reviews Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., on view through Jan. 21, 2018.

Chambers writes: “The National Gallery of Art … has assembled what may be the definitive exhibition of 17th-century Dutch high-life genre painting, which focuses on the daily lives of the elite. Among the 65 paintings are 10 by Johannes Vermeer, nearly a third of the 34 works attributed to him. The curators of this exhibition … deserve high praise for accomplishing that, but by including works by 14 of Vermeer’s contemporaries, they’ve given us a framework by which to judge the master.”

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