Johannes Vermeer is currently the most renowned Dutch genre painter. Yet he was only one of many artists who excelled in capturing everyday surroundings in exquisite detail. Even though these painters were active in different Dutch cities, their work bears strong similarities in style, subject matter, composition and technique. They frequently drew inspiration from each other’s paintings and then tried to surpass each other’s work in quality, leading to a vibrant artistic rivalry.Contrary to popular belief, Johannes Vermeer was not a genius working in isolation. He was one of a network of Dutch artists who excelled in painting scenes of everyday life and drew inspiration from each other’s work.
The exhibition entitled Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry (Dublin) and the project Connect Vermeer explore this network of relationships and the connections between the artists and their paintings. Through a series of interactive visualizations, the website allows users to discover the network of connections between Vermeer and his sixteen contemporaries. Users can discover the strength and likelihood of relationships between the seventeen artists, the impact of an individual artist’s paintings on the work of his contemporaries, as well as how artists adopted, adapted and disguised elements, from their peers’ work, in their own paintings. More information you can find here or visit the exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland.