To celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage to Manhattan from Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum sent The Milkmaid, perhaps the most admired painting by Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675), to the Metropolitan Museum. To celebrate this extraordinary loan, the Met presented Vermeer's Masterpiece: The Milkmaid, a special exhibition that brings together all five paintings by Vermeer from its collection, along with a select group of works by other Dutch artists, placing Vermeer's superb picture in its historical context. Along with The Milkmaid, important works by Pieter de Hooch, Gabriël Metsu, Nicolaes Maes, Emanuel de Witte, and Gerard ter Borch are on view. All were 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 marks the first time that the painting has traveled to the United States since it was exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair.
Walter Liedtke, Curator, Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Learn more about The Milkmaid on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: