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Unpacking Dutch Italianate Paintings at the Met
The Dutch Italianates: 17th Century Masterpieces from the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London have arrived and our curatorial staff have been unpacking the individual masterpieces to unveil during the opening Saturday, April 11, 2009.
The sheer size of the art will leave you breathless let alone the beauty and history of each piece. You are not going to want to miss this exhibition of Italian landscape paintings by Dutch artists from the 1700's.
These 40 influential paintings were originally collected for a King and were bequeathed to the Dulwich, known as “the greatest small museum in Europe.” The exhibit's world tour makes a stop in Fresno, CA. It is only the second time in the Dulwich's two hundred year history that an exhibit was loaned to the United States.
Displaying lavish still lifes, revealing self-portraits, insightful portraiture, humble and reverent genre works, and masterful cityscapes and seascapes, this exhibition powerfully captures the vivid images of daily life in The Netherlands during the 17th century – a period often referred to as "The Golden Age.”
Culture and economics of the time promoted visual arts with guilds for training artists. Holland boasted a very large artist population that developed to meet the need. The artists preferred the clear, Mediterranean climate of Italy to the wet and dreary climate of Holland thus most of these paintings are of Italian landscapes. In the past artists relied mostly on commissions. Artists now marketed their work to would be buyers. Artists would sketch outdoors and paint in studios which allowed for the large scale of the paintings.
These Dutch Masters established decisively that landscape painting was a full fledged and independent member in the hierarchy of painting while showing everyday life.