Abraham Bloemaert, Studies of pollard pillows
Pen and brown ink, green watercolor over traces of black chalk, 210 x 310 mm)
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Rogers Fund, inv. no. 1970.242.3
Susan Donahue Kuretsky, Vassar College
This exhibition comprises 93 paintings, prints and drawings from American collections that illustrate the transformative effects of time and circumstance on the physical world, as explored by Dutch artists of the 17th century. Most are landscapes featuring architectural ruins (either local or Italianate), but related themes are also included, such as studies of ancient trees and other rustic motifs, depictions of fires and floods, and a few vanitas still lifes and images that illustrate various kinds of bodily transformation. The intention of the exhibition is to stimulate thinking about Dutch artists’ pervasive interest in ruins, while drawing attention to the new consciousness of time that developed during this period.
The catalogue offers an introductory essay and entries on all works in the exhibition by Susan Donahue Kuretsky with additional essays highlighting significant aspects of the material by Walter Gibson, Catherine Levesque, Erik Löffler, Lynn Orr, and Arthur Wheelock.