The Alte Pinakothek welcomes distinguished visitors from the City of Amsterdam’s Historical Museum. For three months it will be exhibiting twelve splendid group portraits from the ‘Gouden Eeuw’ – the ‘Golden Age’ of Dutch painting. Together with the Art History Museum in Vienna, this is the first time that an exhibition of this typical Dutch genre of portraits has been possible outside the Netherlands. With only a few exceptions, all Dutch group portraits are still to be found in Dutch collections. The Alte Pinakothek is in
fact one of these exceptions: the portrait of the Governors of the Amsterdam Wine Dealers’ Guild’ dating from 1659 by Ferdinand Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt, is one of the treasures in the Alte Pinakothek’s Rembrandt Room.
The group portrait is a characteristic type peculiar to Dutch painting: members of the elite in various cities – mostly wealthy tradespeople appointed to perform social or official functions – were regularly portrayed life-size. In addition to portraits of officers and members of the citizen’s defense organizations, portraits of the committees of trade guilds and charitable organizations in Amsterdam belong in this category. The work was commissioned from the finest Amsterdam portrait painters and exude all the republican pride,
desire to communicate one’s status, self-confidence and indeed self-satisfaction of the subjects concerned. Thanks to this tradition we are still able to meet the tradespeople, riflemen, regents and guild governors from this ‘Golden Age’ face to face.
Hirmer-Verlag München will publish a catalog, edited by Marcus Dekiert and Karl Schütz with essays by Norbert Middelkoop, Maarten Hell, Marcus Dekiert and Georg Vasold and entries by Norbert Middelkoop, Judith van Gent, Bas Dudok van Heel and Volker Manuth.