Street Scene

Object Details


Street Scene


Jacobus Vrel (Dutch, active 1654 - 1662)




about 1654 - 1662


Oil on panel


41.3 x 34 cm (16 1/4 x 13 3/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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With an approach completely different from that of his contemporaries, Jacobus Vrel captured the feeling of everyday life on a town street where tall buildings with shops and markets crowd out the sky and people have time to chat amidst the bricks and cobblestones.

Never trained in the popular manner, Vrel did not use perspective and he never primed his canvases. His figures do not cast shadows. Yet his primitive, independent style imparts a naive intimacy and truth to the moments he chose for his panels. His humble approach, imbued with sincerity and compassion for the average person, shows sensitivity toward the quiet moments that make up the bulk of most people's lives.

This picture was once owned by Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who rediscovered Johannes Vermeer in the 1800s and believed that this panel was by Vermeer himself.


Private Collection (Netherlands)

by 1866 - 1892

Etienne-Joseph-Théophile Thoré, 1807 - 1869 (Paris, France) [sold, Thoré sale, Chevallier, Paris, December 5, 1892, lot 33.]

by 1910 - 1911

Adolphe Schloss, 1842 - 1910 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his wife, Lucie Schloss, 1911.

1911 - 1939

Lucie (Haas) Schloss, 1858 - 1938 (Paris, France), by inheritance to her children, Lucien Schloss, Henri Schloss, Raymond Schloss, and Mrs. Prosper-Émile (Schloss) Weil, 1939.

1939 - 1943

Lucien Schloss, 1881 - 1962 (Chambon, France)

1939 - 1943

and Henri Schloss, 1882 - 1964 (Chambon, France)

1939 - 1943

and Raymond Schloss (Chambon, France)

1939 - 1943

and Juliette (Schloss) Weil, born 1885 (Chambon, France)


In the possession of the Vichy Government of France (Chambon, France; Paris, France), sequestered by the French State Museums at the Musée du Louvre, 1943.

1943 - 1945

Musée du Louvre (Paris, France), restituted to the Adolphe Schloss Family, 1945.

1945 - 1951

Schloss Family (Paris, France) [sold, Schloss sale, Galerie Charpentier, Rheims & Baudoin, Paris, December 3, 1951, lot 60, to Rosenberg & Stiebel Incorporated.]


Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1951.

1951 - 1970

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.

Exposition rétrospective. Tableaux anciens empruntés aux galeries particulières (May 1866) (Cat. 112)
  • Palais des Champs-Elysées, (Paris), May to May, 1866
Loan Exhibition of Dutch Paintings G.[sic] Paul Getty Collection (1952) (Cat. 112)
  • Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art, (Los Angeles), 1952
Masterpieces of Art: In Memory of William R. Valentiner, 1880-1958 [...] (April 6 to May 17, 1959) (Cat. 91)
  • North Carolina Museum of Art, (Raleigh), April 6 to May 17, 1959
Delft Masters, Vermeer's Contemporaries (March 1 to June 2, 1996) (no cat. no.)
  • Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, (Delft), March 1 to June 2, 1996

Villemer, Marquis de [Charles Yriarte]. "Revue de Paris." Le Figaro (May 20, 1866) p. 1.

Bürger, W. [Théophile Thoré]. "Van der Meer de Delft." Gazette des beaux-arts 21, no. 5 (November 1, 1866) p. 463; no. 6 (December 1, 1866), pp. 569-70, no. 54.

Hôtel Drouot, Paris. Catalogue de tableaux anciens [...] Le tout formant la collection de feu Thoré-Bürger. December 5, 1892 p. 24, lot 33 (as Vermeer).

Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. "Paris. Hôtel Drouot. Die Auction Thoré-Bürger." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 16 (1893) p. 119, no. 33.

Brière-Misme, Clotilde. "Un 'Intimiste' hollandais: Jacob Vrel." La Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 68, no. 365 (November 1935) pp. 105, 109, fig. 3.

Blum, André. Vermeer et Thoré-Bürger (Geneva: Éditions du Mont-Blanc, 1946) p. 185, no. 54.

Bazin, Germain. Les Grands maîtres hollandais (Paris: F. Nathan, 1950) p. 187, no. 115, ill.

Galerie Charpentier, Paris. Collection de feu M. Adolphe Schloss. (Deuxième vente). Tableaux anciens [...]. December 5, 1951 lot 60, pl. 44.

World Collectors Annuary 3 (1951) pp. 27, 514, no. 4345, ill.

Valentiner, Wilhelm R., and Paul Wescher. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook (Los Angeles: n.p., 1954) p. 27, no. 12, ill.

Valentiner, William R. "Jacque de Ville or Jacobus Vrel." Bulletin of the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art 1, no. 2, (1959) p. 23, fig. 15.

Masterpieces of Art: In Memory of William R. Valentiner, 1880-1958, Representing His Achievements During Fifty Years of Service in American Museums, exh. cat. (Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art, 1959) pp. 144, 154, no. 91, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. A Handbook of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965) p. 18, no. G-90, pl. 15.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965) pp. 30, 123, ill.

Walford, E. J. "Jacobus Vrel: A Reassessment of His Work, and His Place in the Dutch 17th Century." Unpublished typescript (Free University, Amsterdam, 1971) p. 9.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972) p. 87, no. 115, ill.

Wright, Christopher. The Dutch Painters: 100 Seventeenth Century Masters (London: Orbis, 1978) p. 212, ill.

Sutton, Peter C. A Guide to Dutch Art in America (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1986) p. 144.

Lokin, Daniëlle. "Views in and of Delft 1650-1675." In Delft Masters, Vermeer's Contemporaries: Illusionism Through the Conquest of Light and Space, exh. cat. (Delft: Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, with Waanders, 1996) pp. 103, 105, fig. 88.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 133, ill.

Jowell, Frances Suzman. "Thoré-Bürger's Art Collection: 'A Rather Unusual Gallery of Bric-à-Brac.'" Simiolus 30, nos. 1-2 (2003) pp. 59, 60, fig. 6; p. 108, no. 33.

Jowell, Frances Suzman. "Impressionism and the Golden Age of Dutch Art." In Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past, exh. cat. Ann Dumas, ed. (Denver: Denver Art Museum, with Yale University Press, 2007) pp. 90, 91, fig. 28.

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