Home, Land and Sea brings together over 50 paintings from Manchester City Galleries’ exceptional 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish collection, one of the most important in the country. This exhibition showcases the Galleries’ broad collection, which includes exquisite paintings of everyday life, portraiture, landscapes, seascapes, and still life. These evocative paintings are placed within their historic context to tell visitors the story of The Netherlands’ great and prosperous history. With the Dutch Republic’s independence came a newfound sense of identity and national pride which found expression through the arts. This exhibition will demonstrate how Dutch and Flemish artists famously found new subjects in the life around them.
It will include paintings of impressive domestic interiors by Pieter de Hooch, taverns with giggling maids and flirtatious men by Jacob Ochtervelt, finely painted works by Gerrit Dou and Willem van Mieris, as well as charismatic portraits by Gerard ter Borch. There are views of the simple Dutch countryside in landscapes by Jan van Goyen, Aelbert Cuyp and Philips Koninck, while paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael and Jan van de Cappelle depict stormy seas and calm inland waters. Evoking the Republic’s powerful trading empire are still lifes of imported luxury goods by Willem Kalf, or meticulously painted exotic flowers by Jan van Huysum and Jan van Os. Many of these paintings have not been on display for tens of years, while others have benefited from recent conservation treatment which has removed layers of yellowed varnish to reveal their beautiful colours underneath.
For the first time these paintings will be juxtaposed with works by major contemporary British artists such as Mat Collishaw’s Last Meal on Death Row, Texas series, sculptures of gnawed apples by Gavin Turk, and Rob and Nick Carter’s homage to Ambrosius Bosschaert: Transforming Still Life Painting. Alongside the seascapes will be Bachelor Machines Part I, a film by 2013 Northern Art Prize nominee Rosalind Nashashibi which focuses on the lives of an all-male crew on board the Gran Bretagna, a modern-day cargo vessel.
This exhibition has been curated by Henrietta Ward, The National Gallery Curatorial Trainee supported by The Art Fund.
The National Gallery
The Art Fund
Aurelius Charitable Trust
The Friends and Patrons of Manchester City Galleries
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Representation of the Government of Flanders in the UK