Vermeer: Art, Love and Music

Monday 13th February 6.00PM GMT


In February 2023 the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will host the largest ever exhibition dedicated to Vermeer. Join us as it opens for a lecture on this great master of Dutch Golden Age painting, focusing in particular on themes of music and love in his work, on the eve of Valentine’s Day. Presented by Art History in Focus director Siân Walters.


One of the most popular themes in genre paintings of the Dutch Golden Age was the relationship between music and love, often alluding metaphorically to the harmony of two souls. This is suggested by dialogues between couples, as well as the frequent presence of exquisitely depicted instruments such as lutes, virginals and harpsichords. This lecture explores masterpieces by Vermeer which will be on show in the Rijksmuseum exhibition with reference to these recurrent motifs in his work.

Vermeer’s oeuvre was very small – only around 35 paintings today are attributed to him and at least 28 of these will be on show in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. These will include The Girl with a Pearl Earring (Mauritshuis, The Hague), The Procuress (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden), Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid (The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin) and Woman Holding a Balance (The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC).  The exhibition will run from 10 February-4 June. See the museum website for advance booking and further exhibition details.


This is a live-streamed lecture at 6.00pm (UK time).  It will last approximately one hour including Q&A. Tune in live from anywhere in the world, or if you cannot participate live, you will automatically be sent a recording soon after the end of the session enabling you to watch later that day or during the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Booking closes the day before the event is streamed. Please refer to the Further Information panel below.

Further Information

1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book Now” button, fill in the online booking form and pay online. You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

Please ensure you enter your email address correctly, as your Zoom link will be sent to this address, thank you.

The participation fee is £10 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked – please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. Zoom works best when using Google Chrome.


You will receive an email approximately 24-48 hours in advance of the event asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will automatically receive the Zoom log in link both on your screen and by email, please keep this safe.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items’ and ‘junk mail’ folders or click here for advice.


Join the event a few minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You do not need to advise us if you can’t participate live, don’t worry! You will be contacted soon after the event has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recording. This will be available to watch on catch up later that day and for the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each event that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don’t worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you a recording.

Bookings close the day before the event is streamed.

Click here to download a hand-out for the lecture.

Image – Vermeer, A Young Woman seated at a Virginal, c. 1670–72, The National Gallery, London