From 10 March 2012, through 11 March 2017 the National Gallery of Art in Washington will show two important group portraits on a five-year loan in the installation Civic Pride: Dutch Group Portraits from Amsterdam. It will provide an extraordinary opportunity for visitors to enjoy a type of Dutch painting rarely seen outside the Netherlands. In these imposing works, two of Amsterdam’s most important portraitists from the mid-17th century, Govert Flinck (1615–1660) and Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613–1670), have immortalized the civic pride of the men who governed the Kloveniersdoelen, the building where one of Amsterdam’s three militia companies held its meetings.
One of the portraits, the Governors of the Kloveniersdoelen by Bartholomeus van der Helst has just undergone a complete restoration for the occasion of the exhibition. The results are dramatic, as the painting now has a brilliance of color that was obscured by old varnish for many years. Courtesy of curator Norbert Middelkoop and conservator Annetje Boersma.
Below: Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613-1670), Governors of the Kloveniersdoelen, 1655
Amsterdam Museum (Details, after treatment. Photo: Annetje Boersma)