On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays pairs of musicians from the Academy of Ancient Music perform in the National Gallery's Sainsbury Wing exhibition of paintings by Johannes Vermeer.
Music was one of the most popular themes in Dutch painting, and carried many diverse associations. In portraits, a musical instrument or songbook might suggest the education or social position of the sitter; in scenes of everyday life, it might act as a metaphor for harmony, or a symbol of transience. Includes Vermeer's 'A Young Woman standing at a Virginal' and 'A Young Woman seated at a Virginal' and 'Guitar Player'.
The exhibition also displays seventeenth-century virginals (a type of harpsichord), guitars and lutes alongside the paintings to offer unique insights into the painters’ choice of instruments, and the difference between the real instruments and the way in which the painters chose to represent them.
Three days a week visitors can experience live performances in the exhibition space by the Academy of Ancient Music, bringing the paintings to life with music of the period. Performances take place at the times specified below and last 20 minutes. No performance on Saturday 20 July.
Thursday: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm
Friday: 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm
Saturday: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm