Vermeer’s Women, Secrets and Silence – Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The Lacemaker

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is always worth visiting, next time you are in Cambridge spend a few hours wandering around its captivating collections of artefacts and paintings.  You won’t be disappointed

As a local to Cambridge I feel very lucky to have the museum on my doorstep.  Every few months I take a little wander around the rooms and always notice things in the permanent collections that I have never noticed before.  Some of my favourite collections include a room housing eight hundred fans of all types, some going back many centuries, and a room full of ancient egyptian artefacts.  I love anything to do with Egyptology and I always find myself drawn to this room.

The museum is currently hosting an important art exhibition entitled ‘Vermeer’s Women, Secrets and Silence’.  The exhibition, which runs until 15 January 2012, focusses on four important Johannes Vermeer paintings. The subject of the paintings, as the title of the exhibition alludes too, is the private home life of 17c Dutch women.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The exhibition includes one of his most famous paintings, ‘The Lacemaker’, which is on loan from its home at The Louvre in Paris.  It is very rare for The Lacemaker to be seen outside of Paris and is the first time it has been displayed in Britain.

Alongside Vermeer’s work are twenty-eight other paintings of women in their homes by other painters from Vermeer’s era.  This link below gives you a list of all the paintings exhibited.

The paintings are a fascinating insight in to the lives of 17c Dutch women, aswell as the painting style and use of symbolisation the painters incorporated in their paintings.  The descriptions on the walls next to the paintings are informative and help the viewer to understand the subjects and painters brilliantly.  If, like me, you are slowly learning about art and techniques then you will find it very helpful indeed!

I visited the exhibition last Saturday and really enjoyed it.  If you would enjoy a relaxing mooch around a room full of brilliant paintings of women concentrating on their chores in an unexciting yet fascinating way then this is for you!

One piece of advice I would offer though is if you are not particularly fond of crowded rooms, or know you would not have the patience to wait for a close up view of the next painting because too many people are already looking it, it is probably best to wait for the interest in the exhibition to die down a little!

Below are links to my favourite Fitzwilliam rooms.

The Fitzwilliam also hosts talks, courses, family activities and other events.  So, next time you are in Cambridge head for the Fitzwilliam!

If you are reading this and have visited the museum recently I would love to hear about your experience and what your favourite bits were 🙂


About Maria Explores...

Blogger and Freelance Writer
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