Spanning the seventeenth century, the domination of the Dutch Republic as an economic power fostered a “Golden Age” of prosperity and cultural and scientific advancement. The republic’s economic successes allowed people from across society to purchase artworks, fuelling demand for many distinct subjects and styles of painting, such as portraiture, still-life, and “genre paintings” which depicted scenes of everyday life. These are represented through works by Jan van Huysum, David Teniers and Rembrandt van Rijn.
This display also includes a selection of larger works by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Sir Anthony Van Dyck, the pre-eminent Flemish painters of the period, who worked in Antwerp, Italy and England. Their depictions of biblical and mythological scenes were in high demand throughout their careers, and Van Dyck’s full-length portraits had a considerable impact on the development of the genre in British art.