Blog Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age

Posted Dec. 11, 2017, 8:13 a.m. by T

Advertisement
Radio K 2

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum 

Art Gallery of NSW

Sydney, Australia

Before the dawn of the 18th century, the territory that was to become known as Netherlands was the epitome of a wealthy nation that provided fertile ground for painters whose influences still reverberate today. The focus of the Dutch artists was channeled through an acutely aware lense focused on details and resulting in paintings that are to this day unrivalled in terms of intensity, dramatic impact and tranquility.

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum marks the first time 78 works of art from the renowned Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are displayed in Sydney as part of the local International Art Series 2017/18.

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age catapults the visitor back to the seventeenth century, a time dominated with an abundance of confidence, prestige and cornucopia.

The exhibition features renowned works by the likes of Vermeer and Rembrandt, flanked by ones of Jacob van Ruisdael and Jan Davidsz de Heem, who became esteemed for their depiction of domestic scenes, maritime themes and historically significant events.

The undisputed highlight is the dedicated Rembrandt room, which contains apart from oil paintings, sixteen etchings depicting both themes and tropes from the bible as well as worldly themes and gives insight into the creative process of one of the masters.

One of the keys to understanding the art of this period is to look at the society, how different it was from the rest of Europe – being a bourgeois society, run by the rich middle class, and a Calvinist society.

In essence, a society of great tolerance supporting a lot of religious liberties and intellectual freedom and based on that, it spawned a lot of artists had a lot more freedom in choosing what they wanted to paint compared to other painters in Europe.

The exhibition feature the rock stars, i.e. Vermeer and Rembrandt, but also gives an overview of artists who are perhaps are not that familiar to the general public here but who are wonderful examples of the marvel of 17th century Dutch painting. Artists who in their own time were renowned and successful but today are not so well known.

The last time the Rijksmuseum lent Australia some of its most precious paintings was in 2005, for the Dutch Masters exhibition at the ­National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Among the paintings coming to Sydney this time is Vermeer’s Woman Reading a Letter: typical of the master with calm ambience, cool blue tones and domestic detail. It was chosen to offset The Love Letter, the Vermeer that came to Melbourne.

The whole show seems to have been planned with one eye on the Melbourne catalogue to rather complement than compete with what was presented at the NGV before.

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Run The Jewels @ Big Top

Posted by T
Jan. 7, 2018, 6:16 p.m.

Run the Jewels Big Top, Luna Park Sydney, Australia January 5, 2018 Given their respective careers and pedigree, I could not help but be intrigued when I was first introduced ... read more

The Unbelievables @ Concert Hall

Posted by T
Dec. 23, 2017, 9:35 a.m.

The Unbelievables Concert Hall, Opera House Sydney, Australia December 20, 2017 In medias res: With a name that suggests a band of superheroes out of the Marvel universe, The Unbelievables ... read more

The Beautiful Girls @ Metro Theatre

Posted by T
Dec. 19, 2017, 8:13 a.m.

The Beautiful Girls Metro Theatre Sydney, Australia December 16, 2017 It was 2002 when Australian roots rock trio The Beautiful Girls made their debut release Morning Sun - a melting ... read more

Paradise Lost @ Metro Theatre

Posted by T
Dec. 18, 2017, 10:44 a.m.

Paradise Lost Metro Theatre Sydney, Australia December 15, 2017 “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” -Aristotle A band with such longevity as ... read more

The Easybeats @ Enmore Theatre

Posted by T
Dec. 17, 2017, 10:53 a.m.

The Easybeats Sydney, Australia Enmore Theatre December 15, 2017 Let’s start with the basics for the uninitiated: The Easybeats were an Australian rock band that formed in Sydney, Australia, in late ... read more

Advertisement
Radio K 2
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.