In an exclusive presentation, this exhibition will highlight the extraordinary works of art made during the seventeenth
century in the Netherlands, a period known as the Golden Age. During this time the emerging Dutch Republic reached unprecedented
economic, political and cultural heights and saw a brilliant flowering of artistic talent. This historic exhibition assembles some of the
finest paintings by the masters of the Golden Age, as well as an outstanding selection of drawings and decorative arts that testify
to the artistic sophistication achieved during this period, providing a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of this vibrant, urbane
and remarkably wealthy new society. These stunning works of art—drawn from the renowned collection of the Rijksmuseum
in Amsterdam—once graced the elegant interiors of the canal houses and country homes built by the aristocracy and the new
Celebrated artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals and Gerard Ter Borch created haunting portraits that capture in fine detail the lavish clothing, jewellery and ornate interiors of their patrons. With keen observation, artists Karel du Jardin, Adriaen van Ostade and Johannes Vermeer depicted their own well-appointed studios or created self-portraits, reflecting the rising status of the artist in Dutch society. Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch created minutely detailed scenes of daily life including humorous and moralizing scenes of children’s games or peasants drinking and dancing. Canvases by artists such as Aelbert Cuyp and Salomon van Ruysdael depict not only the prosperity of burgeoning urban centres, symbolized by new civic and residential building, but also the prosperous Dutch countryside and scenes from artists’ travel abroad. Also included are a large group of still-life paintings that are dazzling in their colour, detail and symbolism. The exhibition will allow visitors to view these splendid works of art within the rich context in which they were made.
The exhibition is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and curated by Ruud Priem and Lynn Orr.
It is supported by the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.