CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Rembrandt’s Amsterdam: Golden Times?

27 November 2024 - 23 March 2025

Rembrandt’s Amsterdam: Golden Times?

Exhibition: 27 November 2024 - 23 March 2025

The Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main presents the exceptional portrait art of Rembrandt and his contemporaries in a large exhibition, bringing together some 100 paintings, sculptures and prints, as well as cultural and historical objects from leading Dutch and international museums. The starting point is an impressive collection of group portraits from the Amsterdam Museum, enhanced by outstanding works from the Städel Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the National Museum in Warsaw.

Govaert Flinck (1615–1660), Wijk 1 of the Voetboog Riflemen under Captain Joan Huydecoper and Lieutenant Frans van Waveren, ca. 1648–1650, Amsterdam Museum

Paintings from the Golden Age in the Netherlands are critically questioned here because this economic and cultural flowering in the seventeenth century was based on an aggressive trade policy of the Dutch Republic, whose foundations were built on the establishment of colonies in Asia and South America and the enslavement and exploitation of people. Wars, poverty, and religious and political persecution in Europe provided a steadily growing migration to the Dutch Republic, particularly to Amsterdam. A strong job market and general religious tolerance gave many people hope for a better and freer life, which many, but by no means everyone, succeeded in achieving. Above all, Amsterdam’s urban elite has been intensively portrayed: Members of the civic guard houses and ‘regents’, heads of social institutions supported by civil society. The exhibition shows these official and prestigious paintings while simultaneously casting its view onto how members of other social groups are represented. They are images and histories of a pluralistic Amsterdam society, which tell of wealth and inequality, fortune and ruin, power and powerlessness.

Nicolaes Berchem (ca. 1620-1683), Allegory of the Expansion of Amsterdam, 1653–1673, Amsterdam Museum