Closer to Johannes Vermeer
The Rijksmuseum’s online discovery tour Closer to Johannes Vermeer is live. Actors Stephen Fry and Joy Delima take visitors into the world of the Delft painter. For the first time, it is possible to zoom in on a number of works in great detail. Closer to Johannes Vermeer was designed and built in cooperation with Fabrique and Q42.
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) lived and worked in Delft. His work is world-famous for his hushed, introverted indoor scenes, his unprecedented use of bright, colourful light and his convincing illusionism. Unlike Rembrandt, Vermeer left a remarkably small oeuvre. 37 of them are still known. The online discovery tour supports the largest Vermeer exhibition ever to take place at the Rijksmuseum from 10 February to 4 June 2023. In the process, there are more Vermeers to view online than on display.
Closer to Johannes Vermeer
The Vermeer special features 37 hi-res images; in addition to the 28 works from the exhibition, it also includes the other nine paintings attributed to Vermeer. By zooming in on his life, his work and details, visitors to the online discovery tour get even closer to Vermeer. British actor Stephen Fry gives the tour in English, while Dutch actress Joy Delima guides Dutch-speaking visitors around.
Zooming in on details and themes
Whereas in other experiences the focus is often on individual works, here it is on the overview of the various works near and next to each other. Through movement and specific cut-outs, the Vermeer experience always juxtaposes the paintings in different ways, allowing visitors to discover Vermeer’s themes.
Recurring objects, such as pearls, curtains, wall charts but also the same light come to the fore. You will also discover the different emotions of stillness and wonder in the groups of paintings. From the first moment, the movement creates a telling story, where the User Interface can quickly fade into the background.
Several paintings can be viewed at an ultra-high resolution of 5 micrometres. That is as detailed as the picture of the Nachtwacht published by the Rijksmuseum a year ago. This also allows these paintings by Vermeer to be zoomed in until the minute pigment particles in the paint become razor-sharp.
Getting started yourself
Visitors can also compare paintings themselves, look for similarities and peculiarities in Vermeer’s work and create and share their own Vermeer story.
The site was designed by strategic digital design agency Fabrique and built by digital product studio Q42. Both agencies have been working successfully with the Rijksmuseum for 20 years this year. The online experience Closer to Johannes Vermeer was made possible in part by KPN.
The website can be viewed at rijksmuseum.nl/nl/johannes-vermeer