The Frick Collection was the final American venue of a global tour of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Netherlands. While the prestigious Dutch museum underwent an extensive two-year renovation, it lent masterpieces that had not traveled in nearly thirty years. At the Frick, a selection of fifteen paintings included the beloved Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665) by Johannes Vermeer and Carel Fabritius’s exquisite Goldfinch (1654). The exhibition continued the Frick’s tradition of presenting masterpieces from acclaimed museums not easily accessible to the New York public.
Girl with a Pearl Earring was the sole work on view in the Oval Room, with the other paintings shown together in the East Gallery. To accompany the exhibition, three works by Vermeer in the permanent collection, Officer and Laughing Girl (c. 1657), Girl Interrupted at Her Music (c. 1658–59), and Mistress and Maid (c. 1666–67), were grouped together in the West Gallery, where they could be viewed along with complementary Frick Collection paintings by the represented artists.
The fifteen carefully chosen highlights from the Mauritshuis — portraits, landscapes, genre scenes, and still lifes — demonstrated the themes that stirred artists’ and collectors’ imaginations during the Dutch Golden Age. In addition to Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch, these included Rembrandt’s Simeon’s Song of Praise (1631), “Tronie” of a Man with a Feathered Beret (c. 1635), Susanna (1636), and Portrait of an Elderly Man (1667); Frans Hals’s pendant portraits Jacob Olycan (1596–1638) and Aletta Hanemans (1606–1653), both painted in 1625; Pieter Claesz’s Vanitas Still Life (1630); Nicholas Maes’s Old Lacemaker (c. 1655); Gerard ter Borch’s Woman Writing a Letter (c. 1655); Jan Steen’s Girl Eating Oysters (c. 1658–60) and “As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young” (c. 1665); Jacob van Ruisdael’s View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds (c. 1670–75); and Adriaen Coorte’s Still Life with Five Apricots (1704).
The exhibition in New York ― accompanied by a catalogue and a series of public programs and select evening hours ― was coordinated by Margaret Iacono, Assistant Curator at the Frick. The works were selected by Edwin Buijsen, Head of Collections at the Mauritshuis, and Colin B. Bailey, former Frick Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator.