A Golden Age
Dutch Group Portraits from the Amsterdams Historisch Museum
Group portraits are an important topic in seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Better than any other genre they express the character of Dutch society during the “Golden Age” and reflect the social conditions and bourgeois culture of Dutch cities.
Members of the prosperous bourgeoisie regularly sat for fulllength portraits in the company of those with whom they performed their civic duties. In order to avoid the stiff uniformity of motionless sitters lined up in a row, artists tried to enliven their compositions by introducing movement and action.
The exhibition comprises eleven paintings from the „Schuttersgalerij“ of the Amsterdams Historisch Museum. This part of the museum is closed for renovation between August 2010 and March 2011. Rather than putting these exceptional paintings into storage, the collection is travelling to the Kunsthistorisches Museum to be shown outside the Netherlands for the first time.
The paintings are by Adriaen Backer, Frans Badens, Ferdinand Bol, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Govert Flinck, Bartholomäus van der Helst, Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy, and Dirck van Santvoort.