December 05, 2020

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Dutch Golden Age of Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer at The Met

Dutch Golden Age of Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer at The Met

Celebrating the Dutch Golden Era: since October 16, the Met is presenting In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces.

The exhibition brings together some of the Museum’s greatest paintings to present this remarkable chapter of art history in a new light.

Dutch paintings of the 17th century—the Golden Age of Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer—have been a highlight of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection since the Museum’s founding purchase in 1871.

Through roughly 65 works organized thematically, the Dutch Golden Age exhibition will orient visitors to key issues in 17th-century Dutch culture—from debates about religion and conspicuous consumption to painters’ fascination with the domestic lives of women.

The exhibition provides a fresh perspective on the canon and parameters of the Dutch Golden Age by uniting paintings from The Met’s Benjamin Altman, Robert Lehman, and Jack and Belle Linsky bequests.

Works typically displayed separately in the Museum’s galleries—such as Rembrandt’s Gerard de Lairesse and Lairesse’s own Apollo and Aurora—will be presented side by side, producing a visually compelling narrative about the tensions between realism and idealism during this period.

The presentation will offer an opportunity to display recently conserved and rarely exhibited works, including Margareta Haverman’s A Vase of Flowers—one of only two known paintings by the artist and the only painting by an early modern Dutch woman in the Museum’s collection. The exceptional quality of Rembrandt’s late self-portrait will be even more evident following the removal of a synthetic varnish dating to the mid-20th century.

The title of the exhibition comes from one of the period’s major works of art theory, Philips Angel’s The Praise of Painting (1642), a pioneering defense of realism in art. Exhibition visitors will also be able to peruse a comprehensive two-volume catalogue by the late Walter Liedtke about The Met’s Dutch paintings collection.

In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met is organized by Adam Eaker, Assistant Curator in The Met’s Department of European Paintings.


In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met
At The Met Fifth Avenue
OCTOBER 16, 2018–OCTOBER 4, 2020


Image; Still Life with a Skull and a Writing Quill.  Artist: Pieter Claesz (Dutch, Berchem? 1596/97–1660 Haarlem) 1628 Medium:Oil on wood Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (24.1 x 35.9 cm) Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1949

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