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Signed JV, but not by Vermeer: Jacobus Vrel’s “Young Woman in an Interior”

Kristen Gonzalez, department of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art

Jacobus Vrel is not exactly a household name. A painter of quiet Dutch genre scenes, he produced some fifty works and quickly fell into obscurity. Composing modest interiors and street scenes, Vrel’s mature paintings predate those of the most celebrated Dutch masters in the 17th century. In fact, many of his works were misattributed to Johannes Vermeer. In this lecture held on April 22, 2019, Kristen Gonzalez discusses the Gallery’s Young Woman in an Interior by Jacobus Vrel and the striking modernity of his genre paintings. In anticipation of a major retrospective exhibition in Munich, Paris, and the Hague next year, Kristen discusses the challenge of studying the enigmatic Vrel and establishing his artistic identity distinct from Vermeer and his contemporaries.