Hit Vermeer show ends in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's famous Rijksmuseum drew the curtain on June 4 on its "most successful" exhibition featuring paintings of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, saying hundreds of thousands of art lovers flocked to the capital for the blockbuster show.

Long queues formed daily outside the Rijksmuseum since the exhibition opened on Feb. 10, boasting the largest collection of works by the 17th-century artist ever gathered under a single roof.

"Despite having carefully limited numbers to give visitors the best experience possible, the Rijksmuseum's Vermeer exhibition finished as the most successful exhibition in its history," the museum said.

Some 650,000 visitors from 113 nations came to wonder at Vermeer classics such as "Girl with the Pearl Earring" and "The Milkmaid", which were among the 28 masterpieces on display.

The exhibition borrowed from galleries and private collections around the world - from the United States to Japan.

Other highlights included three works from the Frick Collection in New York, the newly restored "Girl Reading a Letter at the Window" from Dresden, and "Woman Holding a Balance" from Washington's National Gallery of Art.

The exhibition also cast new light on Vermeer's techniques used in "The Milkmaid" in which researchers discovered a hidden jug holder and basket, later painted over by the enigmatic artist.

For those who missed the chance of wondering at more than two dozen Vermeers at once, a small consolation remained: six Vermeers will remain in place at the museum from June 7.

"The Girl in the Red Hat" and "Young Woman at the Virginal" will hang in the museum's gallery of honor with four Rijksmuseum Vermeers until Oct. 10.

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