Information from the museum, 12 July 2016
Caesar van Everdingen: grand master of Dutch Classicism. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar presents his first monographic exhibition four hundred years after his birth. It is high time for a reassessment of his impressive oeuvre, which experts consider among the best of seventeenth-century art. Like no other, Van Everdingen used his ‘flattering brush’ to paint beauty. He captured on canvas the softness of velvet, the sleekness of fur and the sheen of fabrics, and painted impressive history paintings and civic guard portraits. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar is bringing works by Caesar van Everdingen from Dutch and foreign museums and private collections to Alkmaar. The museum won the prestigious Dutch Turing Award II for the exhibition concept.
Caesar van Everdingen was born in Alkmaar four centuries ago. He learned how to paint there and in Utrecht, and then worked for several years in Haarlem. As his contemporary Gerard de Lairesse said, he was able to paint ‘evenly and smoothly’ like no other – in a fluidly idealising style in which it is almost impossible to see a brushstroke. Caesar’s greatest talent was his ability to render materials and textures convincingly. His paintings look like the work of a fine artist, but on a grand scale, as in the Oranjezaal in Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague and the history painting of Jupiter and Callisto. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the artists’ biographer Arnold Houbraken rightly praised him for his ‘flattering brush’. The Rijksmuseum recently purchased the painting of a Young Woman in a Broad-Brimmed Hat, which will be exhibited in Alkmaar alongside masterpieces from other museums. Top works are being lent, for instance, by museums in Dresden and Stockholm, which are making an exception especially for this occasion. Venus fromThe Hague will be reunited with Adonis from Cape Town and there will be a recently discovered painting of a sensual peasant woman from a Russian private collection.
Fabric Creations by Edwin Oudshoorn
Dutch fashion designer Edwin Oudshoorn, known for his luxurious fabrics and historically reminiscent couture, is creating a homage to Caesar van Everdingen for the exhibition. With a few creations he offers a subtle contemporary interpretation of the masterly expression of surface and texture for which Caesar van Everdingen is famed.
Restoration and Publication
The pièces de resistance of Caesar’s Alkmaar oeuvre – the civic guard paintings – were restored and researched especially for the exhibition. The recent treatment revealed delightful details and a sophisticated effect of depth. Other paintings have also been recently restored. The research results and new findings will be presented in the exhibition and in the catalogue.
In 2015 this special exhibition won the prestigious Turing Award II, a biennial prize for the best exhibition plan in the Netherlands. ‘A huge and ambitiously conceived plan about Caesar van Everdingen to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of this largely unknown, but very intriguing, unusual and magnificent seventeenth-century painter,’ to quote the panel of judges’ report.
Travelling on to Helsinki, Finland
After 22 January 2017 this exhibition will travel to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum/Finnish National Gallery in Helsinki. A selection of the works will be exhibited there under the apt title Caesar van Everdingen: Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt. Caesar will finally follow in the Scandinavian footsteps of his brother, the landscape painter Allart van Everdingen (1621-1675). Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar will be devoting a monographic exhibition to him in 2020.
Coinciding with the Caesar van Everdingen exhibition in Alkmaar, Rijksmuseum Twente in Enschede is exhibiting the work of the Classicist Gerard de Lairesse (10 September 2016 to 22 January 2017) .
The exhibition is made possible in part by the Turing Foundation, the Mondriaanfonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (thanks to the Margarethe Petronella Fonds and the Nieske Fonds), the VSBfonds, Stichting Zabawas and Cultural Agency of the Netherlands. Our special thanks go to all lenders, advisors and others involved.