CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Drawn by Life: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Seventeenth Century

Exhibition: 29 January - 9 June 2013

There is hardly any period in which artists engaged so much with representing scenes from everyday life as did Dutch and Flemish draughtsmen during the seventeenth century. This display of drawings illustrates how observation and representation of all different aspects of life became a major subject for artists of the Golden Age.

The selection includes works from artists such as Isaac van Ostade, Jacques (Jacob) Jordaens, and Ferdinand Bol, and gives a vivid portrayal of society in the age of Rembrandt and Rubens. The drawings, however, do not necessarily provide true depictions of everyday life. They were executed in different techniques and served a variety of purposes, from preparatory studies to highly finished artworks, ready to be sold on the art market.

These drawings, due to their sensitivity to light, are rarely on show, and include some exhibited for the first time. They illustrate how seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish artists were inspired by everyday life and how they reflected on the world in which they lived.

Display guide

A short guide to accompany this display has been produced which includes full colour images and further information on the works. It is available for download here.

This display was curated by Teun Bonenkamp of Utrecht University.