The Early Netherlandish paintings collection (ca. 1450—1565) comprises around 120 works on panel, with a few on fine weave canvas. The majority of the collection comes from Brabant and Flanders, featuring works from Bruges (Van Eyck, Petrus Christus, Hans Memling, Gerard David, Isenbrant, Ambrosius Benson) and Antwerp (Joos van Cleve, Joachim Beuckelaer, Pieter Bruegel the Elder). In addition to devotional works of varied themes is a particular strength in portraiture. An unmatched five works by Johannes Vermeer, along with masterpieces by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Hals, and Anthony van Dyck, distinguished the holdings of seventeenth-century painting.
The museum’s Netherlandish, Dutch, and Flemish drawings and prints, held in the Department of Drawings and Prints and the Lehman Wing, span the fifteenth century to the present. Highlights include drawings by Bruegel, Rembrandt, and Rubens. The collection is also strong in sixteenth and seventeenth-century reproductive prints. The museum also houses over 100 Netherlandish tapestries, from Story of Troy and Hunt of the Unicorn, to sixteenth-century masterpieces woven under Pieter and Willem de Pannemaker, Willem de Kempeneer, and Frans Spiering.
Adam Eaker, Assistant Curator, and Maryan Ainsworth, Curator of European Paintings, with contributions by others (May 2020)
Related CODART publications
Nadine Orenstein and Stijn Alsteens, “Dutch and Flemish Drawings, Prints and Books Recently Acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art”, CODARTfeatures, October 2013.