Dutch Painters at the Prado
Madrid 12/3/2009 - 4/11/2010
The exhibition Dutch Painters in the Prado has been organised in conjunction with the publication of the fi rst catalogue of the collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings in the Museo del Prado. The exhibition brings together a sizeable group of works from this practically unknown collection, which has barely been displayed in the galleries of the Museum since the 1940s.The term Dutch Painting refers to the works produced in the Northern United Provinces, which became an independent nation following the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1579, while the Southern United Provinces (Flanders) remained under Spanish rule. The Northern Provinces numbered even, of which Holland was the largest. Its capital, Amsterdam, was the economic engine behind this new nation, which became one of the leading European powers over the course of the 17th century. Its powerful mercantile, middle class promoted a highly active process of cultural development and used painting as the primary vehicle for an affi rmation of this new national identity.Coinciding with the celebration of this exhibition and in addition, the Museum will present in an adjoining room the painting The Company of Captain Reijnier Reael and Lieutenant Cornelis Michielsz Blaeuw by Franz Hals and Pieter Codde, coming from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This painting, which hangs in the Prado as part of Invited work, will be exhibited at the Museum until February 28.
The exhibition is organised into three sections: Dutch paintings originally in the collections of Philip IV and Charles II; Dutch paintings from the collections of the Bourbons; and new acquisitions in the form of bequests, donations, gifts in lieu and purchases. Many of the works on display were restored for the purposes of preparing the catalogue. As a result, it is now possible to appreciate the subtle chromatic gradations, beautiful effects of light and the precision of line to be found in many of these works, whose previous state of conservation prevented a full appreciation.
- Teresa Posada. Curator of the Department of Flemish and Northern Schools (up to 1700) at Museo del Prado