Once in a lifetime art exhibition becomes film sensation

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of the most incredible art galleries I’ve ever visited. The spectacular 19th building, constructed with a combination Gothic and Renaissance styles, is a work of art in itself. However, it’s what’s inside that keeps art lovers from around the world flocking to the city - with masterpieces by some of the greatest artists in history, including Rembrandt and Vincent Van Gogh.

One recent exhibition at the museum has surpassed all records and expectations by becoming the most successful art exhibition of the 21st century. The ‘once in a lifetime’ exhibition of works by renowned Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, brought together an incredible 28 of the painter’s surviving 35 works. With loans from across the world, the major retrospective included Vermeer’s most famous masterpieces including Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Geographer, The Milkmaid, The Little Street, Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid, and Woman Holding a Balance. The largest number of the artist’s works ever assembled, and the largest ever likely to be again.

An unprecedented event in modern art history, tickets sold out in record time and by the exhibition’s second day in February, all 450,000 entry slots had sold out. Fortunately, the newfound mega-stardom of the Dutch painter can still be seen via the magic of cinema with Exhibition on Screen’s Vermeer - The Greatest Exhibition, which has become a sensation in its own right.

Having sold out on Showroom Cinema screens in April, the film returns for two encore performances in May and invites audiences to a private view of the exhibition, accompanied by the director of the Rijksmuseum and the curator of the show. As well as bringing Vermeer’s works together, the film draws from extensive research into Vermeer’s artistry, his artistic choices and motivations for his compositions, as well as the creative process behind his paintings.

Cinema audiences may already be familiar with Vermeer from the 2003 drama Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. Ten years later, Vermeer became the subject of Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by magician Teller about the wonder of the painter’s realism and lighting. Another ten years later in 2023, Vermeer is still astounding film audiences.


We use cookies to help us provide you with a better service, but do not track anything that can be used to personally identify you. If you prefer us not to set these cookies, please visit our Cookie Settings page or continue browsing our site to accept them. Close