The Concert (Vermeer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Concert
Vermeer The concert.JPG
Artist Johannes Vermeer
Year circa 1664
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 72.5 cm × 64.7 cm (28.5 in × 25.5 in)
Location Whereabouts unknown since the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft in 1990

The Concert (c. 1664) is a painting by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The 72.5-by-64.7-centimetre (28.5 by 25.5 in) picture depicts a man and two women playing music. It belongs to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, but was stolen in 1990 and remains missing.[1] It is thought to be the most valuable unrecovered stolen painting ever, with a value estimated at over $200,000,000.[2]


The picture shows three musicians: a young woman sitting at a harpsichord, a man playing a lute, and a woman who is singing. The harpsichord's upturned lid is decorated with an Arcadian landscape; its bright colouring stands in contrast to the two paintings hanging on the wall to the right and left. A viola da gamba can be seen lying on the floor.

Of the two paintings in the background, the one on the right is The Procuress by Dirck van Baburen, a work which also appears in Vermeer's Lady Seated at a Virginal, probably painted around six years after The Concert. The painting on the left is a wild pastoral landscape. The musical theme in Dutch painting in Vermeer's time often connoted love and seduction,[3] a motif reinforced by the presence of Baburen's sexually exuberant picture.


The location of the painting was unknown for a long time. Sold in Amsterdam in 1696, it did not reappear until 1780.[3] It was acquired by Isabella Stewart Gardner in an 1892 auction in Paris for $5,000[4] and subsequently displayed in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, beginning in 1903. On the night of March 18, 1990, thieves disguised as policemen stole 13 works out of the museum, including The Concert. To this day the painting has not resurfaced.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The $500 Million Gardner Museum Heist: Have You Seen These Paintings?". Time Magazine. March 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Stolen, a documentary about the theft of The Concert, from the PBS website.
  3. ^ a b Janson, Jonathan. "Understanding The Concert by Johannes Vermeer". 
  4. ^ "Netflix - Watch TV Shows Online, Watch Movies Online". 
  5. ^ "Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum : The Concert". 

External links[edit]