The new presentation of the collection in the Kunsthalle Bremen was opened in June 2020. Spread over four cabinets and a large gallery, Dutch and Flemish art of the seventeenth century is now presented according to new stylistic and thematic focus points. The presentation starts with a room entitled Churches without images, in which a church interior by Hendrik van Vliet is put in contrast to biblical history paintings by Jan Lievens, Arent de Gelder, and other artists from the circle of Rembrandt. Further rooms are dedicated to landscape and genre painting, as well as Flemish art. Numerous important works from the bequest of Carl Schünemann (2017) are on view here. In the large gallery, seventeenth-century Dutch painting is connected to the present day. Titled Pioneers of globalization, Dutch seascapes and still lifes of exotic animals and plants are on view. The paintings are combined with foreign objects, such as American tobacco and Chinese porcelain illustrating the worldwide trading network of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century. Additionally, archeological finds from Bremen, like a Delft ceramic bowl, a clay pipe from Gouda, or a Roemer, prove that Bremen maintained a lifestyle similar to that of the Netherlands at the time. In the nineteenth century, Bremen would become a central trading center for colonial goods. With his large-scale ship-model, the Scottish artist Hew Locke draws attention to the history of slavery and exploitation as well as to the modern consequences of global trade and migration.
Dorothee Hansen, Curator of 14th-19th Century Paintings and Deputy Director (June 2020)
Katalog der Gemälde des 14. bis 18. Jahrhunderts in der Kunsthalle Bremen