2011年3月16日，德国慕尼黑美术馆古典分馆，荷兰画家约翰内斯·维米尔（Johannes Vermeer）的画作《持称女子》（Woman Holding a Balance）前拥簇着前来参与新闻发布会的媒体。这幅维米尔的经典杰作曾是德国巴伐利亚州君王Maximilian I Joseph的私人收藏。EPA/MARC MUELLER.
早在19世纪初，这幅精妙雅致的大师杰作曾是德国巴伐利亚州首任君王Max I Joseph (1756-1825)令人叹为观止的私人收藏中的重要组成，约瑟夫一世的收藏重点几乎全是17世纪荷兰的油画大师，其中大多数绘画的题材都是风景和风俗（以日常生活为题材的写实画）。此外，他还收藏了一些深受这些古典大师影响与启发的慕尼黑当代画家的作品。1826年，暨Max Joseph一世过世后一年，这些皇室私人收藏被拍卖，其中一些特别作品被国家馆藏收购，另一些则经过了几番波折才最终回到Alte Pinakothek：比如Ludwig一世的收藏，很多都零散落入了私人藏家手中，分隔异地。回过头来看，最大的损失莫过于维米尔创作于1664年的这幅《持称女子》；得来参展非常不易。
维米尔画作的非凡魅力并非在于常见的日常生活题材，而是画作中无不散发出的意境氛围，以及这位来自戴尔伏特的大师（Master of Delft）画作中魔法般流露出的那份宁静透过细腻纹理如此朗然地演奏着变调，时光仿佛就静止在那一瞬间：这位美丽的年轻女子正全神贯注地调节着杆秤。他精妙准确地描绘了当时当刻，但与其说是因为捕捉到了那一瞬的动作，倒不如说是由于其笔下的人物本身是那般栩栩如生。这番描绘几乎成为了一个引发冥想的寓言和对一种正直克制生活的反思，恰好与画面背景中墙上悬挂的《最后的审判》所声言的告诫形成鲜明对照，从而也形成了巧妙的画中画。精心构思的象征性画面布局，柔和温婉的笔触，对光线的完美掌控和对色彩的纯熟调配，使《持称女子》成为维米尔全部创作中最为重要的作品之一，同时也是现存的17世纪风俗绘画中的神来之笔。
环绕着她的其余20幅同样来自荷兰绘画“黄金时代”的大师杰作犹如众星拱月，包括来自Jacob van Ruisdael, Paulus Potter, 小Willem van de Velde与Philips Wouwerman的作品。维米尔的画作也同时带给来访者了解巴伐利亚州君王Max I Joseph作为一名古典艺术收藏家的机会。展览从即日起持续至今年6月19日。
Alte Pinakothek Exhibits Painting by Johannes Vermeer as Part of Its 175th Anniversary
Participants of a press conference look at a painting, entitled Holding a Balance, by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany, 16 March 2011. The 175th birthday of the Ate Pinakothek starts with a program of the Bavarian State Picture Collection in Munich. The Vermeer masterpiece once belonged to the private collection of the Bavarian King Maximilian I Joseph. EPA/MARC MUELLER.
MUNICH.- The Alte Pinakothek welcomes a very special guest to its 175th anniversary: Johannes Vermeer’s “Woman Holding a Balance” from the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The exhibition is on display until June 16, 2011. In the early 19th century, this exquisite masterpiece once formed part of the exceptional private collection amassed by the first king of Bavaria, Max I Joseph (1756-1825). He focused almost exclusively on 17th-century Dutch masters, mostly landscapes and genre paintings. To these he added the works of contemporary painters in Munich who were inspired by such Old Masters. In 1826, one year after the death of Max Joseph, the private royal collection was sold at auction. Some exceptional works were acquired for the state collections; others found their way to the Alte Pinakothek via roundabout routes – as part of Ludwig I’s collection, for example; many are now scattered far afield. From today’s point of view, the greatest loss was Vermeer’s painting of 1664.
The special appeal of Vermeer’s paintings is not to be found in the seemingly everyday scenes frequently depicted, but much more in the atmosphere that these pictures exude. Seldom, however, is the tranquility so often conjured up in the works of the Master of Delft so manifestly transposed through the motif as in this work, which focuses on the moment when the pretty young woman pauses, concentrating fully on adjusting the balance. What is actually happening is less to be found in a visible deed but rather in the figure itself. The depiction becomes an allegory to meditation and reflection on a just and temperate life – literally against the background of the admonition in the “Last Judgment” that is shown as a painting within a painting. The carefully thought-out iconocraphic programme, the gentle brushwork, the effective use of light and not least of all the masterly blend of colour values make “Woman Holding a Balance” a major work within Vermeer’s œuvre and, beyond this, one of the most important 17th-century genre paintings in existence.
Surrounded by a good twenty other exceptional paintings from the “Golden Age” of Dutch painting, including works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Paulus Potter, Willem van de Velde the Younger and Philips Wouwerman, the Vermeer painting gives visitors the opportunity to discover Max I Joseph of Bavaria as a collector of Old Masters for a period of several weeks from March onwards.