15 Dutch Masterpieces of Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals at The Frick

Images of the painting masterpiece completely restored, entitled "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

Who'd have thought that one of the hottest tickets in town this fall would involve those old familiar faces of Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals. Of course, one can never really tire of the 17th-century Dutch Masters–that light! those expressions! the emotion!–but still, in a city as masterpiece-rich as New York, haven't we kind of seen these all before? The short answer is: no. Not these, not here at the magnificent Frick, and, in the case of the completely restored Girl With a Pearl Earring, not like this. 

Image of the famous masterpiece called "Old Sing So Pipe Young", with people sitting together, eating, drinking, and being merry

The World Tour of 15 Masterpieces

The story behind this remarkable exhibition at the Frick, running now through January 19, is simple: the renowned Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Netherlands, is undergoing extensive renovations over a two year period, so they sent out some of their most treasured works on a world tour during. It's unlikely these 15 works will be seen around these parts again anytime soon, so it's sort of a must-go situation. Hence the crowds, and, to avoid lines and/or disappointment, the Frick's encouragement that you order advance, timed tickets before showing up at the mansion's doors.   

Famous Rembrandt self portrait painting, entitled "Tronie", now on display at Frick

The Famous Paintings of Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals

I went to Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis on opening day, and although this is not my usual aesthetic, as always it was pretty powerful to see these famous paintings live, in person. Personal favorites include Jan Steen's amusingly suggestive Girl Eating Oysters, as well as his raucous As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young; Rembrandt's "Tronie" (a sort of 1600s selfie) of a man in a feathered hat; Pieter Claesz's stunningly vivid Vanitas Still Life; and, of course, Vermeer's Girl, which, anticipating a crush of fans and pearl-earring groupies, has been given an entire gallery of its own. And if you've never been to the Frick, the exhibition offers a great excuse to wander these dazzling rooms, all decked out with the museum's extensive permanent collection (don't miss Renoir's La Promenade, and Turner's Antwerp).

Pieter Claesz's stunningly vivid Vanitas Still Life, with a book, skull, feather and some other trinkets sitting on a table

More Information: Masterpieces at The Frick

Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis will be at The Frick through January 19, 2014. The Frick is located at 70th Street and Fifth Avenue, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:00 to 5:00. For more information and to get advance tickets, visit the Frick online!

Jan Steen's amusingly suggestive "Girl Eating Oysters"

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