CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide


2 July - 3 September 2023


Presentation: 2 July - 3 September 2023

An intimate encounter between two works of art, that’s Match. Twelve Dutch museums, including Museum Gouda, are showing a masterpiece from the Rijksmuseum alongside a masterpiece from their own collection this summer: a perfect Match!

Museum Gouda ‘matches’ the world famous Portrait of a girl in blue (1641) by Johannes C. Verspronck from the Rijksmuseum (also called the most beautiful child portrait of the seventeenth century) with The Arntzenius sisters (1895) by Willem B. Tholen, from its own collection. The moving encounter of these beautiful paintings can be admired through 3 September 2023.

Dutch author Splinter Chabot wrote an essay especially for this match that can be listened to during your visit.

The girl was painted by Verspronck as a small adult lady, as people did at the time. She looks straight at you, blushes and wears a dress with gold brocade, a refined lace collar and cuffs. Pearls and feather fan complete her appearance. It is not known who she was, but it is likely that the painting was commissioned by a wealthy family.

Tholen had his studio in the same house where the Arntzenius family lived. He painted the two daughters at a hushed moment. Dora and Elizabeth, thirteen and fourteen years young, are reading on a red couch, oblivious to the painter, with whom they also take drawing lessons. They are wearing black short-sleeved clothes, black arm warmers and white aprons over them.

For information about the other matches, see