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2017 looks set to be a bumper year for art exhibitions and to start the year with a bang, we recommend ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry’ at the Louvre in Paris.

Including around a third of the artist’s entire surviving output, Milkmaid, Woman Holding A Balance and Woman with a Lute are just a few of the masterpieces on view.  The show explores how the Dutch artists of the time explored domestic scenes and genre paintings, as well as how they admired, inspired and competed with one another.  It is on view at the Louvre until 22 May before moving to the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, and then the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.  Make sure to book well in advance as unsurprisingly it’s proving very popular.

Potsdam in Germany already hosts a fine selection of art institutions, but it will be welcoming a significant new attraction this year with the Museum Barberini, created by the software magnate Hasso Plattner and housed in the reconstructed eponymous palace. They recently opened with ‘Modern Art Classics: Liebermann, Munch, Nolde, Kandinsky’ which features Edvard Munch’s Girls on the Bridge, which sold for $54.5m at Sotheby’s last November. Also on show until 28 May will be a show dedicated to ‘Impressionism: The Art of Landscape’ including works by Monet, Renoir and Caillebotte amongst others.

To mark the publication of the first catalogue raisonné of the drawings of José de Ribera, and to celebrate the remarkable technical abilities of the artist, the Museo del Prado mounted the exhibition ‘Ribera. Master of Drawing’, which proved a smash hit. It has now moved to the Meadows Museum in Dallas (12 March – 11 June). A highlight of the seventy-one works that make up the exhibition is the rediscovered and exquisite red chalk drawing of Risen Christ appearing to the Virgin, on loan from the Kent History and Library Centre.

A Botticelli portrait of Venus is currently being shown in the US for the first time in the touring exhibition, ‘Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities’. As well as his poignant religious images, Botticelli is revered as the master of Renaissance mythological painting and every stage of his career is explored in this show which is by far the largest and most important Botticelli exhibition ever staged in the US. Also including works by Filippo Lippi, Filippino Lippi and Antonio del Pollaiuolo, it will be at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Virginia until 6 April before moving to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (18 April – 9 July).


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