From the museum website, 14 November 2011
At the end of the 17th century Michiel van Musscher was the most successful portraitist in Amsterdam. Among his tutors were Gabriel Metsu and Adriaen van Ostade. Next to portraits of the Amsterdam regents Van Musscher also received commissions from foreign Monarchs like Tsar Peter the Great. Van Musscher’s portraits are painted in the tradition of Van Dyck and Van Mieris.
His work distinguishes itself by a combination of a very meticulous and technically skilled way of reflecting details. This becomes apparent in the painting of textiles such as silk, but also in the way in which tapestry is reproduced. Typical of his portraits is the exuberant way in which the Dutch regents had themselves displayed. In the last quarter of the 17th century wealthy citizens kept a virtual regal lifestyle. This bourgeois culture with ‘royal’ allure is magnificently visible in the portraits and genre paintings by Van Musscher.
The exhibition on Michiel van Musscher does not only display his more famous paintings from Dutch collections and the museum itself, but also a significant number of paintings from foreign museums and national and international private collections, which are normally not accessible to the public.
This exhibition does not only intend to increase appreciation of Van Musscher’s work and of late 17th century Dutch painting, but also to adjust the perception of the later part of the Dutch Golden Age.
A book will be published to commemorate this remarkable exhibition.