Considered the most brilliant of the painters coming in the wake of Caravaggio, and one of the greatest French artists—indeed, the equal of Poussin—Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632) spent the greater part of his career in Rome executing prestigious papal commissions. His work was also collected by people in power, most notably Cardinal Mazarin and Louis XIV, and throughout the 19th century served as a model for masters as different as David and Courbet.
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Organized in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the exhibition will present Vermeer’s great masterpieces and those of his contemporaries.
“The Sphinx of Delft”: coined by French journalist and art critic Théophile Thoré-Bürger when he revealed Vermeer to the world late in the 19th century, this famous expression has served mainly to promote an enigmatic image of the painter. The myth of the solitary genius has done the rest. Yet Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) did not attain his level of creative mastery in isolation from the art of his time.