Saturday, January 24, 2009

Perhaps Not a Vermeer?

It was recently mentioned in a post by Lee Rosenbaum that this painting, Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, may actually not be painted by Vermeer. Benjamin Binstock argues in a new book, Vermeer's Family Secrets, that this painting (along with six others) may have been painted by Vermeer's eldest daughter. Walter Leidtke, the curator of Dutch Baroque art at the Met, obviously disagrees with this theory, having recently included this painting in his new monograph on Vermeer. However, the label for this painting at the Met does suggest that the yellow shawl may have been painted by someone else.

I wonder what kind of controversy will be sparked by Binstock's new book! Some of the debates have already started. Rosenbaum cites one reviewer in Art Newspaper that called Binstock's theory a "wild assumption based on limited information." Since I'm not a connoisseur of Vermeer, I can't give an opinion myself. I also have not read Binstock's book yet. It does seem, though, that Dr. Binstock has credible expertise; he received a PhD in Northern Baroque and Renaissance art from Columbia, and currently teaches at Columbia and New York University.

Ah, revisionist theories. It looks like the art community is about to get riled up again...