This groundbreaking exhibition examines 17th-century Dutch paintings in light of the new Republic’s social structure. Although the Dutch Republic was relatively democratic at the time, class distinctions remained and conveyed a variety of meanings to its citizens.
Through approximately 71 carefully selected and arranged paintings, this exhibition will present the ways in which Dutch pictures reflect various socio-economic groups. Additionally, three place settings featuring the everyday tableware of the upper, middle, and lower classes will bring to life the tangible differences within the Republic’s stratified population.
By exploring how class distinctions were expressed and the associations each group held, a more nuanced picture of Dutch society will emerge. Highlights of the exhibition include Vermeer’s A Lady Writing and portraits by Rembrandt and Hals.
This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.