The girl with the pearl earring will never travel again

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring has been back at the Mauritshuis for a few days and will not move from there.

Those who were in Bologna on the occasion of the much-discussed exhibition curated by Goldin can still say that they participated in a once-in-a-lifetime event: yes, because we learn from an article in the Guardian yesterday that Johannes Vermeer ’s celebrated Girl with a Pearl Earring will never travel again.

Vermeer, La ragazza con l'orecchino di perla

After the tour de force that saw the painting by the great seventeenth-century Dutch artist travel to Japan, the United States and, finally, Italy, the girl has just a few days ago returned permanently to her home, namely the Mauritshuis in The Hague in the Netherlands, and from there she will never move again: anyone who wants to see her will have to travel to the Netherlands. Vermeer’s painting thus joins the ranks of those important masterpieces that do not move from their museums: the Guardian mentions, for example, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at the Uffizi, Velázquez’s Las Meninas at the Prado in Madrid, Picasso’s Guernica at the Reina Sofía also in Madrid, and again by Picasso, Les demoiselles d’Avignon exhibited at MoMA in New York, or even Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim altarpiece located at the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar, France.

The reasons for decisions like this are mostly conservative: these are fragile paintings, sensitive to changes in the microclimate, which if altered can cause irreversible damage to the painting. And of course, we are not talking about the damage that such works might suffer in transportation maneuvers: the list of works damaged in exhibitions is long and we have talked about it on our website as well, with some examples. And in the specific case of the Girl with a Pearl Earring, we have to add the fact that the Mauritshuis has been closed for quite some time during renovation works that began in 2008: to deprive itself again of its iconic masterpiece (ugly term, but in fact many museums bet a lot on their icons: the Guardian article is also interesting to get an idea about this aspect) would mean losing a lot of visitors as well.

So Vermeer lovers need only book a trip to the Netherlands to admire his most famous masterpiece.

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.