Dutch 17th century portraits exhibition

This is a video of self portraits by Rembrandt, set to the music of Antonio Vivaldi’s: “Winter”.

From Shelley Esaak:

Exhibition Gallery: Dutch Portraits

The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals

People are fond of overusing the phrase “The ‘golden age’ of this” and “The ‘golden age’ of that — especially as ‘golden age’ pertains to art history (or rock ‘n roll) — but, every so often, these two words in tandem are warranted. Here, for example, is a magnificent exhibition devoted to the “golden age” of Dutch portraiture as it occurred in the 17th Century. This was an amazing congruence of timing and location for artists. A merchant class was emerging which was quietly proud of its prosperity and, lacking photography studios, its members were not slow to commission painted portraits for all posterity of themselves, their fine clothing, the large families that they could easily support, their disposable income for music lessons or even their exotic tulips. It was certainly a boom market for those artists who could paint recognizable likenesses, and we got some of our best “names” in art history as a result.

In Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals we’re offered the works of two towering geniuses. Frans Hals is an artist I adore, quite simply because his skillful execution has always seemed to barely disguise a hidden vein of mirth incongruous with the then-newly Protestant, rather somber Netherlands. And, Rembrandt? Rembrandt was, and remains, in a league by himself. I can add no more to that statement. Both of these artists are prominently featured in this exhibition, along with 25 other Dutch masters whose works, hung together, serve to represent this country during a period in which conservative estimates figure around one million total portraits were painted.

Should you have the opportunity, please attend. The National Gallery, London (June 27-September 16, 2007) viewing has just ended, and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague viewing (October 13, 2007-January 13, 2008) will commence in a few weeks. I thank both of these institutions for providing us with images from the exhibition for our viewing pleasure. Honestly? we’ve nearly got an embarrassment of riches to peruse in this image gallery. Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Dutch 17th century portraits exhibition

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