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This spring in the Mauritshuis: Slow Food. Still Lifes of the Golden Age. Featuring masterpieces by Clara Peeters, Floris van Dijck, Pieter Claesz and others

From 9 March through 25 June 2017 the Mauritshuis presents Slow Food. Still Lifes of the Golden Age , the first exhibition to be devoted to the development of still lifes depicting prepared food – called meal still lifes – that were created in Holland and Flanders from 1600 onwards. The cornerstone of the exhibition is a masterpiece acquired by the museum in 2012, Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels by Clara Peeters. Alongside this work the exhibition also features masterpieces from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Washington’s National Gallery of Art, Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and others.

From 1600 onwards, richly set tables piled high with tempting morsels and precious objects became a popular artistic theme. The detailed depiction of food, fine silver and glassware laid out on the table was a subject favoured by various painters. The Mauritshuis traces the development of this genre through a selection of some twenty paintings. The earliest meal still lifes came from Antwerp, where they were executed by artists such as Clara Peeters and Osias Beert. At the same time the genre flourished in the Northern Netherlands thanks to the work of Haarlem-based painters like Floris van Dijck and Nicolaes Gilles.

Clara Peeters, Stilleven met kazen, amandelen en krakelingen, c. 1615

Clara Peeters, Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels, c. 1615, Mauritshuis, The Hague.

The paintings are a feast for the eye. The masters of the meal still life opted for delicacies such as fish, oysters, prawns, cheese, charcuterie, bread and titbits such as olives or nuts. Arranged artfully between the items of food are fine glassware, gilded goblets, pottery jugs or oriental porcelain, all rendered in the finest detail. Peeters’ Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels, for example, lovingly depicts the crumbly texture of the ripened cheeses, the creaminess of the butter curls shaved from the pat and the delicate play of reflected light on the knife. Peeters’ paintings are a precursor to later works such as the panel by Pieter Claesz donated to the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation by Willem Baron Van Dedem. The stacked cheeses seen in Peeters’ painting also feature in the work of Floris van Dijck, arranged on a meticulously painted damask napkin.

Mini food festivals

The museum will organise small-scale food festivals during the exhibition, which will centre on the delicacies depicted in the paintings. A range of activities focused on food and drink will also take place on Saturdays during March and April. 

Exhibition

Title: Slow Food. Still Lifes of the Golden Age
Date: 9 March – 25 June 2017

Catalogue

The Mauritshuis and Waanders Publishers will present a catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Slow Food: Dutch and Flemish meal Still Lifes 1600-1640 contains more than 100 colour illustrations. The catalogue is published in English and Dutch and is written by Quentin Buvelot, Senior Curator at the Mauritshuis with additional contributions by Yvonne Bleyerveld, Milou Goverde, Zoran Kwak, Anne Lenders, Fred G. Meijer and Charlotte Rulkens.

Slow Food
Dutch and Flemish meal Still Lifes 1600-1640
ISBN 978 94 6262 117 6

Slow Food
Hollandse en Vlaamse maaltijdstillevens 1600-1640
ISBN 978 94 6262 116 9

Price: €29.95

Sponsors

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, NN Group, Dutch Masters Foundation, Turing Foundation and BankGiro Loterij. The compilation of the catalogue was aided in part by generous donations from the Stichting dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds and the Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

Notes to editors:

Images can be downloaded on our website, please mention the attached credit lines.

For more information please contact:

Natalie Bos
Press & Publicity, Mauritshuis
+31(0)70 3023438 / +31 (0)6 14448460
pressoffice@mauritshuis.nl / mauritshuis.nl

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Mauritshuis

The Mauritshuis is home to the Best of Dutch painting from the Golden Age. The compact, yet world-renowned collection, is situated in the heart of The Hague in The Netherlands, right next to the government centre. Masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display in the intimate rooms of this seventeenth-century monument.

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