One of the most iconic paintings in the world, which has never before been seen in Scotland, will make a flying visit to Edinburgh this Autumn. The Goldfinch will travel to the Scottish National Gallery from its home in the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, in The Hague. The painting has never before been shown in Scotland, and has only been exhibited in the UK on a handful of occasions. When it was last shown outside the Netherlands, at the Frick Collection in New York in 2014, it was seen by a record-breaking 200,000 people (many of whom happily endured long queues in sub-zero temperatures).
Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) is often seen as the link between two giants of Dutch painting: Rembrandt van Rijn (1609-69), in whose workshop he was a star pupil and Johannes Vermeer (1632-75), on whose work he had a considerable influence. An artist of remarkable skill, Fabritius was tragically killed at the age of 32, when a gunpowder store exploded, destroying large parts of the city of Delft and killing hundreds of its residents. It is presumed that much of Fabritius’s work was lost in the explosion, and only around a dozen of his paintings survive. Among these The Goldfinch, which was painted in the year he died, is considered by many to be his masterpiece.