Close to Vermeer

Directed by Suzanne Raes
Year: 2023
Country: Netherlands
Language: Dutch with English Subtitles
English Closed Captions

Go behind the scenes of the largest Vermeer exhibition ever mounted, now on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Capturing the imagination of the art world – with glowing reviews, global publicity, and tickets sold out through the entirety of its run – the Rijksmuseum's Vermeer retrospective is nothing short of an historic event. Suzanne Raes’s film follows curators, conservators, collectors, and experts in their joint mission to shine a new light on the elusive Dutch Master. This fascinating documentary reveals everything from the quiet diplomacy required to get the Vermeers to the Netherlands and the new technical knowledge gained by scanning the paintings layer by layer, to the shocking news that one work may not be by Vermeer after all. In the process, we discover how Vermeer was able to depict reality so differently from his contemporaries. But above all, CLOSE TO VERMEER shows the infectious love Vermeer’s art inspires. As one curator lovingly puts it: “A good exhibition should change your view of the world. Vermeer can really do that.”

“Insightful and irresistible. A globe-trotting tale of diplomacy, a detective story and a fascinating insight into the insular world of museum curation, research and preservation, which helps keep culture alive through the march of history.”

“A gentle, thoughtful documentary populated by knowledgeable individuals, experts at the top of their fields who... help us to not just look at a Vermeer, but to see.”

“Chronicles the making of the exhibition that brought over half a million visitors to the Amsterdam museum… I felt a lot closer to the elusive Dutch master by the closing credits.”

“Provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of the drama that preceded the [exhibit’s] historic run.”

“Anyone who loves to spend time in a gallery simply must see this documentary. Audiences can see the textures of Vermeer and the details of his work like never before. The film is like having the closest view possible in a gallery.”

“Allows us to… experience [the] rich details that would not be possible in a busy museum. Cuts through the crowd so that we can be up close and personal with the art. What we know about Vermeer is limited, but Close to Vermeer is a tribute to his talent that gives us the opportunity to see him and his work like never before.”

“This intriguing documentary… spotlights the unique talent of the artist, the behind-the-scenes work of curators, and the ways in which Vermeer’s paintings still have a lasting impact centuries later.”

“Riveting. The Rijksmuseum's Vermeer retrospective is nothing short of an historic event.”

Pieter Roelofs
Anna Krekeler
Jonathan Janson

Directed by Suzanne Raes