The Dutch Golden Age of Art
Produced at a time when the Netherlands were at the forefront of art, science and commerce, these pieces represent the very pinnacle of ‘genre painting’ – views of daily life rendered with astounding detail and vitality.
Revered for their masterful depiction of space and light, the most popular subject matter for these artists were scenes of provincial life, trade and the family. Skillfully realised scenes such as Adriaen van Ostade’s The Interior of a Peasant’s Cottage (1668) offer a sympathetic and even reverential glimpse of peasant life – in this instance a mother cradling her baby, watched over by a doting father.
Though on the surface these seem like straightforward stories, Dutch artists often included humorous or moralising messages in their work for contemporary viewers to decode.
Moral concerns were also at the heart of Dutch painting. In Jan Steen’s A Woman at her Toilet (1663) a young woman lies on an unmade bed in a state of undress with a nearby lute with a snapped string, a skull, and an extinguished candle all signposts for the viewer that sensuality can lead to ruin.
Apart from celebrating Golden Age painting and the Dutch talent for virtuosity and symbolism, this exhibition aims to explore the long standing relationship between the British and Dutch Royal families. King George IV himself was an avid collector and patron of Dutch art, and you'll find four astonishing works that he owned by Rembrandt, including the magnificent Christ and St Mary Magdalen at the Tomb (1638), on display.
A relatively small but exquisite exhibition, Masters of the Everyday is one not to miss.
|What||Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer, The Queen’s Gallery|
|Where||The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1A 1AA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Victoria (underground)|
13 Nov 15 – 14 Feb 16, 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
|Price||£10.00 Concessions £9.20 Under 17/Disabled £5.20 Under 5 Free|
|Website||Click here for more details|