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Dutch museums exhibit early and fake Vermeer canvases

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROTTERDAM – Two Dutch museums are competing for viewers interested in 17th century Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer. One, Mauritshuis in The Hague exhibits the little known early canvases of the Delft artist. The other, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, has an exhibit of works created by 20th century artist Han van Meteren, whose claim to fame is fooling art critics with unknown and ‘newly discovered’ canvases by Vermeer. Rather than competing, the museums are really complementing each other with their exhibits because both draw attention to Vermeer. The exhibit on Vermeer’s early period reconfirms that the master in his youth created Biblical and mythological interpretations and was still trying to ‘develop his own style.’ It is the first time that Mauritshuis is showing these paintings. The Rotterdam museum exhibits works once erroneously attributed to Vermeer by experts, Van Meteren’s way of embarrassing his critics, who failed to appreciate the work he displayed under his own signature. The experts finally accepted that they had been tricked when Van Meteren showed them his technique by painting another fake Vermeer in court ….