This exhibition features works from the Schünemann Collection, which was donated to the Kunsthalle Bremen in 2017.
The Schünemann Collection includes still lifes, genre paintings, landscapes and marine paintings. Many works are distinguished by unusual art historical features, such as the only signed painting by Jeronimus Sweerts or the only still life created by Willem van Odekercken, who specialized in genre painting. In addition there are rare motifs, such as Tobacco Still Life by Hubert van Ravesteyn, which shows a packet of tobacco printed with a black man smoking as advertising. Extensive groups of landscape and marine paintings provide an overview of the great variety found in these types of subjects. The delicate ice skaters by Adam van Breen, created in 1611, is an early example of Dutch landscape art, similar to the 1622 work Village Landscape by Jan van Goyen. Winter landscapes, a moonlight painting by Aert van der Neer and dunes at the seacoast can be found alongside traditional Dutch river landscapes with cows and a windmill, painted in 1667 by Salomon van Ruysdael.
Schünemann went to sea himself and, due to his special interest and technical knowledge, has a particularly strong connection with marine painting. Nine seascapes illustrate the development of this genre in the seventeenth century, with early works by Cornelis Claes van Wieringen, Hendrick Cornelisz. Vroom and Cornelis Verbeek, whose finely painted copper plate shows ships with thundering canons in a strong swell, dramatically heightened by the appearance of a giant fish. A contrast to this is the calm, reflective surface of the water in the 1691 painting by Willem van de Velde the Younger.