Information from the museum, 22 July 2009
Besides recording the everyday life of the time, perhaps even propagating sensual beauty, the display at the Kadriorg Art Museum tries to address the viewer first of all through comparisons on different levels. The exhibition mixing the works of the two museums (The Kadriorg Art Museum and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki) avoids the rigiddivisions according to genre, nationality, topics or schools of art. The paintings of Flemish and Dutch masters thus blend into one story, still-lifes with food becoming part of bigger compositions of a feast. Among the pictures on the wall depicting conversation pieces and pictures of manners and morals, there are various other types of portraits. For example there are portraits with children and domestic fowl, preaching a possible moral behaviour, or a grand portrait of a wealthy citizen’s family
With this display, the Kadriorg Art Museum wishes to introduce the pictures dating back hundreds of years to the modern viewer and to emphasize the common aim of the selection. They bring out the sensual world, making it worthy of perpetuity, Joys of Life is a resounding accord before the permanent exhibition of the Netherlandish art at the Kadriorg Art Museum is temporarily closed in autumn 2009. It is also an introduction to the renewed display of the Netherlandish art, and to the publication of the catalogue of the collection in 2010.