After 320 years the world-famous 'Little Street' by Johannes Vermeer returns to Delft. Due to extraordinary cooperation between Museum Prinsenhof Delft and the Rijksmuseum, this masterpiece can be seen next year in the city where Vermeer painted it around 1658. The Little Street by Vermeer is one of the Rijksmuseum's top pieces and is rarely given on loan.
Some 35 works by Johannes Vermeer have survived worldwide, yet Delft, the city where the painter lived and worked his entire life, does not own any of his works. It is 60 years ago that a Vermeer piece was last exhibited in Delft. ‘The Little Street’ has occupied a prominent place in the Rijksmuseum's permanent collection since time immemorial. The Rijksmuseum owns four paintings by Vermeer and they are all counted amongst the absolute masterpieces in the museum's collection.
For Patrick van Mil, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft, the arrival of Vermeer in Delft is a dream come true. He said, “It is fantastic that the Rijksmuseum has facilitated the reunion between Vermeer and his city of birth and that 'The Little Street' returns to the place where it was painted. Vermeer is one of the most famous painters in the world. ‘The Little Street’ is an excellent example of the Delft School's innovation around the middle of the 17th century and Museum Prinsenhof Delft will be able to highlight that beautifully by combining it with the other Delft top pieces in our collection.’’
The locations that are associated with Vermeer and 'The Little Street' are all in the vicinity of Museum Prinsenhof Delft. The city itself is the context for the story. After a visit to the exhibition, a visitor can literally follow in Vermeer's footsteps.
The exhibition in Museum Prinsenhof Delft is planned for the spring of 2016 and coincides with the tourist high season, making the arrival of Vermeer a unique opportunity for the museum and for Delft. Mr Van Mil continued ‘This provides us with the opportunity to put Delft on the map as the ultimate Vermeer city. With new walking routes through the city, a special virtual reality App, Vermeer packages etc we bring Vermeer's Delft to life for our visitors. To achieve this we seek cooperation with a number of parties, including the old church Oude Kerk, the Vermeer Centre, Delft University of Technology, Delft Marketing and business. Together we can develop an attractive programme that makes Johannes Vermeer and 'The Little Street' the centre of attention in Delft. Delft equals Vermeer and Vermeer equals Delft!‘.