Synopses & Reviews
During the seventeenth century, Dutch artists were unparalleled in their dedication to depicting ordinary people doing everyday things. Genre painting was the preeminent expression of this dedication, offering candid glimpses into the peasant cottages and village courtyards of the Dutch Golden Age, each painting lit with the periodandrsquo;s vibrant color palette and rich with radiant natural light.
This superb collection by the curators of an accompanying exhibition focuses on a selection of works of Dutch genre painting from the Royal Collectionandrsquo;s holdings. and#160;Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, and Pieter de Hooch are among the masters whose works are finely reproduced here. While the subject matter may be ordinaryandmdash;the preparation of food, the bustle of a busy market, the enjoyment of taverns and town festivitiesandmdash;the meticulously documented details often allude to a workand#39;s deeper meaning or to moral messages that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer. The book explores these hidden moral messages, as well as the artistsand#39; penchant for clever visual puns.
Readers interested in the Dutch Golden Age or seventeenth-century art will welcome this volume. Individual essays on each painting, close-up photography showing important details, and a selection of comparative images add to the bookand#39;s richness and provide valuable context.
Dutch artists dominated the genre of landscape painting in the seventeenth century, and Dutch Landscapes brings together more than one hundred lavish color images of their beautiful paintings, which remain popular with art lovers and museum-goers today.
The volume is dominated by stunning evocations of the landscape of Hollandand#8212;its manmade lowlands and richly foreboding skiesand#8212;populated with peasants at their labors and aristocrats riding off to the hunt. But Dutch artists didnand#8217;t limit themselves to views of their homeland: they also ventured to Italy, where the wildly different landscape inspired new approaches and themes, from Arcadian wilderness to the lively activity of the Roman streetscape. And then there was the seaand#8212;the source of the Netherlandsand#8217; prosperityand#8212;which painters captured in all its drama and power.
Desmond Shawe-Taylorand#8217;s accessible notes to each picture link the paintings and explore their relationships, their shared approaches, and their many innovations; the result is a book that brings to life the Dutch Golden Age in all its glory.
About the Author
Desmond Shawe-Taylorand#160;is Surveyor of The Queenandrsquo;s Pictures, Royal Collection Trust.Quentin Buvelot is Senior Curator at the Mauritshuis. His recent books include Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt.