CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Holländsk guldålder

The Dutch Golden Age Exhibition: 22 September 2005 - 8 January 2006


Görel Cavalli-Björkmann, director of research, Nationalmuseum

From the museum website

The Dutch Golden Age at Nationalmuseum this autumn shows 17th century masters like Rembrandt and Frans Hals.

Realistic master paintings

The ‘realist’ paintings of the 17th century Netherlands offer a fascinating experience to visitors to this autumn’s major exhibition at Nationalmuseum devoted to The Dutch Golden Age. Masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and their contemporaries will be on show. In her best-selling novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier literally steps into a painting by Jan Vermeer van Delft. The visitor, too, can experience how the scenery of the paintings literally spills over into the gallery itself. The exhibition is a journey back to the Netherlands of the 17th century and encounters with the people who lived and worked there.

Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Judith Leyster

During the 17th century art was produced in the Netherlands on a scale unmatched by any other period or culture. While Rembrandt was the central artistic figure in Amsterdam, Frans Hals had the same position in Haarlem and Pieter de Hooch was a leading figure in Delft. There were also important women painters like Judith Leyster. She was a pupil of Frans Hals and ran her own studio with numerous pupils. Nationalmuseum’s painting of the Boy Playing a Flute is one of her finest works.

Cultural exchanges between the Netherlands and Sweden

During the 17th century the Netherlands developed a strong identity based on the general prosperity that was brought by merchant shipping, trade and agriculture. Closeness to the sea and the navigable reaches of the Rhine and the Maas that intersect the country facilitated communication with the rest of Europe and with global markets. There were lively cultural exchanges between the Netherlands and Sweden during the 17th century. Dutch entrepreneurial families like the Trips, De Geers and De Besches played an important role in the industrial life of Sweden but they also brought with them science and culture from their homeland. Dutch artists who spent time in Sweden depicted our compatriots in portraits and genre-paintings. They also painted landscapes of the Swedish countryside and portrayed animals. Allaert van Everdingen’s painting of the Foundry at Julita Bruk is a fascinating document of the period.

Own collections enriched by loans

The core of the exhibition is provided by the museum’s own collections of Dutch paintings
and drawings. These have been enriched by loans from other museums, most notably from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam,
Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The exhibition comprises some 300 works
presented thematically in four galleries and six smaller rooms.

The Royal Netherlands Embassy underwrote part of the cost of the exhibition catalogue.

Exhibition architect

Joakim Ericson


Holländsk guldålder: Rembrandt, Frans Hals och deras samtida
[The Dutch Golden Age: Rembrandt, Frans Hals and their time]
Edited by Görel Cavalli-Björkman and Ingrid Lindell, texts by Görel Cavalli-Björkman, Börje Magnusson, Karin Sidén and Mårten Snickare, with contributions by Lene Bøgh Rønberg, Kasper Monrad and Jon Whiteley
Accompanying an exhibition of the same name held in 2005-06 in Stockholm (Nationalmuseum), published as Nationalmusei utställningskatalog nr. 645
335 pp., 19 cm., about 210 illustrations in color and 20 in black-and-white. Text in Swedish, with an English summary
Stockholm (Nationalmuseum) 2005
ISBN 91-7100-730-x

Dutch and Flemish paintings [in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm], vol. 2: Dutch paintings c. 1600–c. 1800: catalogue raisonné
Görel Cavalli-Björkman, with contributions by Carina Fryklund and Karin Sidén
Publication of this collection catalogue provided the occasion for an exhibition of Dutch paintings in 2005-06 in Stockholm (Nationalmuseum)
607 pp., with 50 illustrations in color and about 560 in 560 black-and-white

Stockholm (Nationalmuseum) 2005
ISBN 91-7100-731-8