What are the 100 most important masterpieces in Dutch and Flemish art from before 1750? Starting this afternoon, we invite everyone to cast their votes at canon.codart.nl.
In creating a Canon, we seek to present a survey of the overwhelming quantity of Dutch and Flemish art as displayed in museum collections worldwide. Many people are familiar with the paintings of Rembrandt and Rubens, but what other works are of major importance to art history?
Over the past few weeks, CODART members have been submitting their selections. The interim results, based on the curators’ choices, will be presented and discussed this afternoon in a symposium at the Rijksmuseum. It is now the turn of the public to act the part of museum curators and to submit their own selections. Will this lead to dramatic changes in the CODART canon, or will the public endorse the curators’ choices? Voting is open until 8 December 2019.
Any process of drawing up a Canon will inevitably provoke questions and raise certain issues. That is emphatically the intention, since a selection of 100 works from such a vast treasure-house of art cannot be made without discussion. To ensure that the CODART Canon is a representative selection, we have drawn up a number of rules, aided by the CODART’s program committee. We have set a maximum of two works by each artist in a particular art form. This means, for instance, that the interim selection includes View of Delft and The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer and not Girl with a Pearl Earring. The point here is to ensure that, in addition to paintings, the Canon also does justice to disciplines such as drawings, prints, sculptures, and the decorative arts. The Canon is a collection – it is not intended as a “top 100.” We are collecting all the responses and together with the committee will process them in order to finalize the Canon.