Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684), ‘The Courtyard of a House in Delft’, 1658. © The National Gallery, London

DUBLIN.- The National Gallery of Ireland presents today Vermeer, Fabritius & De Hooch: Three Masterpieces from Delft, on view through May 24, 2009. This small, but exceptional display will explore the outstanding talents of three master painters of the Delft School: Carel Fabritius, Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer. Fabritius's interest in perspective and illusionism is highlighted in his painting.

Three world-renowned paintings by Dutch 17th-century masters, Vermeer, Fabritius and De Hooch will be the focus of a special exhibition in the Beit Wing of the National Gallery of Ireland from 14th February until 24th May 2009. Admission is free.

The paintings are: ‘The Goldfinch’ (1654) by Carel Fabritius, on loan from The Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague; ‘The Courtyard of a House in Delft’ (1658) by Pieter de Hooch, on loan from The National Gallery, London, and the National Gallery of Ireland’s, ‘Woman Writing a Letter with Her Maid’ (1670) by Johannes Vermeer.

All three paintings were produced at the height of artistic prosperity in the Dutch city of Delft. Celebrated for their depictions of daily life, these artists are acknowledged masters in the rendition of light, perspective and spatial illusion.

Fabritius’ small panel painting ‘The Goldfinch’ was painted in the last year of the artist’s short life, and has become one of the most iconic images of the Dutch Golden Age. It will be shown alongside De Hooch’s celebrated painting ‘The Courtyard of a House in Delft’, considered one of the artist’s most accomplished works in capturing natural light and linear design. Complementing these two paintings is the Gallery’s masterpiece by Vermeer, ‘Woman writing a Letter with her Maid’ which is one of just 36 extant paintings by the artist.

An illustrated brochure, written by Dr. Adriaan Waiboer, will accompany the show. A series of talks on the individual artists in the context of the Delft School will commence Sunday 15th February at 3pm (admission free) www.nationalgallery.ie.