Since the foundation of the university museum in 1832, Dutch art has been of particular importance. The collection of about 200 works includes almost equal numbers of Dutch and Flemish artists; most of them being from the seventeenth century. Among them are well-known names like Joos de Momper, Peter Paul Rubens or Pieter Claesz. The sixteenth century is also well represented with important artists like Aelbrecht Bouts and Gillis van Coninxloo. With about 70 works, land- and seascapes form the largest group, followed by religious subjects. In addition, still-lifes, genre pieces, and portraits form another focus point within the collection. However, architectural paintings, mythological subjects, and animal paintings are to be found in the collection as well. Since the reopening of the renovated picture gallery (2018), the Dutch seventeenth-century paintings are divided into five thematic sections. One of them is called “A nation discovers itself”; the presentation describes life in the young state and explains the power of painting in creating a new identity.
Prof. Dr. Damian Dombrowski, Director of the Early Modern Department and Dr. Markus Maier, Curator of the Early Modern Department (May 2020)