On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage to Manhattan from Amsterdam, that city’s Rijksmuseum will send The Milkmaid, perhaps the most admired painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) to the Metropolitan Museum. To celebrate this extraordinary loan, the Metropolitan Museum will present Vermeer’s Masterpiece The Milkmaid, a special exhibition that will bring together all five paintings by Vermeer from its collection, along with a select group of works by other Delft artists, placing Vermeer’s superb picture in its historical context. Along with The Milkmaid, important works will be on view by Pieter de Hooch, Gabriël Metsu, Nicolaes Maes, Emanuel de Witte, Hendrick van Vliet, and Hendrick Sorgh, all masters who, like Vermeer, were active during the remarkable period of exploration, trade, and artistic flowering that occurred during the Dutch Golden Age in the seventeenth century. Vermeer’s Masterpiece The Milkmaid will mark the first time that the painting has traveled to the United States since it was exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair 70 years ago.
The exhibition is made possible in part by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.