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See a Rare Masterpiece by Vermeer Now at the Chrysler Museum of Art

Vermeer’s painting, A Lady Writing (ca. 1665), will visit Norfolk from its home at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. until Dec. 18.

Johannes Vermeer, “A Lady Writing” (ca. 1665), oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., gift of Harry Waldron Havemeyer and Horace Havemeyer, Jr., in memory of their father, Horace Havemeyer, 1962.10.1

The Chrysler Museum of Art offers visitors a rare opportunity to view a masterwork by Johannes Vermeer of Delft now in person for six weeks.

The painting, A Lady Writing (ca. 1665), will visit Norfolk from its home at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. until Dec. 18. Admission is free.

Paintings by Vermeer (1632–1675) are exceptionally rare—only 35 are known to exist. The great Dutch master experimented with the effects of light, mathematics and optics to enhance the realism of his works. Little known in his day, Vermeer largely worked for a single patron who amassed at least 20 of his paintings, including “A Lady Writing.”

“The beguiling expression of the young lady is the result of Vermeer’s meticulous care in composition and pose,” says Lloyd DeWitt, the Chrysler Museum’s Chief Curator and Irene Leache Curator of European Art. Her charming approach indicates she is writing a love letter. The artist incorporates a witty suggestion about the beauty of her writing—a string of pearls sits right below where her words of love flow from her pen to the paper.

“It’s never an everyday experience to see a Vermeer painting in person,” says Chrysler Museum Director Erik Neil. “Thanks to our strong relationship with the National Gallery of Art, visitors to the Chrysler this fall can witness something truly extraordinary.”

A Lady Writing is on view now through December 18, 2016 at the Chrysler Museum of Art (One Memorial Place, Norfolk, Virginia).