cities in detail
4 January 2009Family Day


Pride of Place
Dutch cityscapes from the Golden Age

Governed by powerful burghers Dutch cities flourished in the 17th century. This engendered a veritable revolution in the art of painting. The affluent citizenry favoured different subject matter than the aristocracy or the church. They fostered a new genre of painting, the cityscape, in which their towns and cities were limned with genuine pride. This exhibition offers a survey of this special type of painting, including famous examples such as Vermeer’s View of Delft.

Bewonderde stad Berckheyde

The earliest painted Dutch views of cities are by Hendrick Vroom. At first emphasis lay on the skyline of the city with its ramparts and church towers. After 1650, the painters escort us into the city itself. They show it from up close: the canals, streets and squares, where the daily activities of the city dwellers come to life.

The painters of cityscapes were active primarily in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Delft. Only the finest paintings are being selected for this exhibition. Joining Ruisdael’s celebrated View of Haarlem are works by Johannes Vermeer, Jan van der Heyden, Gerrit Berckheyde, Meindert Hobbema, Aelbert Cuyp and Pieter Saenredam.

a taste of the exhibition, take a look at cities in detail