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by Archaeology Newsroom

“The Golden Age of Dutch Painting from the Collection of the Dordrecht’s Museum” at the National Gallery and Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens: A Brief Commentary

This exhibition marked the fruitful collaboration between I the Greek National Gallery and the Dutch Dordrecht’s I Museum, which commenced two years earlier with an-I other similar event entitled “Greek Gods and Heroes in the Age of Rubens and Rembrandt”, a significant contribution to an ongoing dialogue about the role of “history painting” in the Netherlands.The Athenian exhibition was a presentation of some of the most spectacular artistic accomplishments of the Dutch Golden Age I through the individual case of one of its main centers: that of Dordrecht, the oldest city of Holland. Curators of both exhibitions were Peter J. Schoon, Director, and Sander Paariberg, Curator of the Dordrecht’s Museum, and the author. The show, including 77 items, was divided in six thematic unities and was laid out in the building on two floors: Landscape painting, marine painting, and still life upstairs, genre painting, portraiture and history painting downstairs. Among the painters represented in the exhibition were Rembrandt’s distinguished pupils, who left their native Dordrecht in order to study under the great master in Amsterdam: Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680), Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678), Nicolas Maes (1634-1693), and Arent de Gelder (1645-1627). Dordrecht’s most fa¬mous landscape painter Albert Cuyp (1620-1691), who led, during the same period, his large retrospective exhi¬bitions in Washington, London and Amsterdam, was rep¬resented by three paintings of his specialization. The presence of two more members of the Cuyp family, the father Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp (1594-1652) and Benjamin Gerritsz. Cuyp (1612-1652), was also significant, since Jacob was Dordrecht’s leading portraitist in the first half of the seventeenth century, while Benjamin received Rembrandt’s message in quite an intriguing way. The Dordrecht’s Museum also owns exceptional works by a few painters who are not natives of the city, such as Jan van Goyen (1596-1656), Jacob van Gee! (1584/5-1638 or later) or Adriaan Coorte (active around 1683-1707). Finally, a local revival, or rather a return to the values of the Dutch Golden Age, best represented in the works of Abraham (1753-1826) and Jacob van Strij (1756-1815) and Christiaan Schotel (1787-1838) prolonged the artistic flourishing in Dordrecht until, approximately, 1830. A smaller show, consisting of drawings and prints from the Dordrecht’s Municipal Archives, which illustrate the city’s life and activities in the seventeenth and eigh¬teenth centuries, complemented the main exhibition. The Commercial Bank of Greece, EBFA and EPT sponsored the exhibition and the communication of the event.