Information from the museum website, 21 April 2010
The Golden Age Reloaded is an exhibition about the persistent fascination of 17th-century Dutch painting, the Golden Age of the Netherlands.
Indeed, 17th-century Dutch painting has fascinated art lovers right from its creation: up until today, we admire the multitude of the pictorial subjects, the realism and the richness of detail, the apparent simplicity of everyday life, the humour in the characters’ representation,
the beauty of still lifes and landscapes as well as the various symbolic elements and hidden meanings. In the 19th century – especially in France – these paintings sparked a renewed interest. The post-revolutionary bourgeoisie, having accumulated enormous wealth through commerce, industry and finance, saw a reflection of themselves in the proud Dutch citizens of the 17th century.
The banker Jean-Pierre Pescatore (1793 – 1855) was a representative of this upper middle class and, just like other financiers of that era, was building a large collection consisting of a vast number of Dutch paintings, which he bequeathed to Luxembourg, his hometown.
For its reopening, the newly renovated and enlarged Villa Vauban exhibits in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam a prestigious selection of 80 paintings from both the Luxembourgish and the Dutch collection: those from the Villa Vauban, the origins of which go back to Jean-Pierre Pescatore, comprising i.a. works by David Teniers the Younger, Jan Steen and Gérard Dou, as well as selected paintings from the Rijksmuseum collection with works from Frans Hals, Paulus Potter, Govaert Flinck, Jan van Goyen and Jacob van
Ruisdael. Engravings from the collections of the Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal round out the exhibition.
Visiting this exhibition will allow you to (re)discover all the fascinating aspects of this art. You will be invited to peek “behind” the paintings and to explore the hidden lives of the pictures: how did the 19th-century painters imitate the masters of olden times? What kind of frames did 17th-century buyers prefer and by what kind of frames were they replaced in the 19th century? Finally, special attention will be attributed to the restoration of certain works.