Celebrating Dutch painting

A Magus at a Table by Jan Lievens
Published : 18 Jan 2018 Last update : 17 Jan 2018

Masterpieces from our places will be on show at the Holburne Museum in Bath to celebrate the enduring British love affair with Dutch art.

The exhibition Prized Possessions, taking place from 25 May -16 September, will include 22 paintings from our collections around the country, including works by great masters Rembrandt van Rijn, Gabriel Metsu and Pieter Jansz. Saenredam.

Among the paintings to be displayed are: Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, Wearing a Feathered Bonnet from Buckland Abbey in Devon; Metsu’s The Duet and Jan Lievens’ A Magus At a Table, both from the collection at Upton House in Warwickshire. Visitors to the exhibition will also enjoy paintings from collections at Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire and Ham House in Richmond.

Prized Possessions, which was put together by our very own curators David Taylor and Rupert Goulding, will explore why people fell in love with seventeenth-century Dutch paintings. 

“The Dutch gained independence from Spain in 1648 and in a relatively short period of time there was a new confidence and prosperity that saw a burgeoning middle class with money and an interest in commissioning and displaying art,” said Taylor.

Detail from Self portrait wearing a white feathered bonnet by Rembrandt van Rijn
Detail from Self portrait wearing a white feathered bonnet by Rembrandt van Rijn

Amina Wright, Senior Curator at the Holburne Museum, said: “The display in the museum’s purpose-built exhibition gallery will allow the paintings to be seen at their very best and in a new and inspiring context. Sir William Holburne’s eclectic collection of Dutch paintings is one of the jewels of the museum founded in his name, and he would have been proud to see such an outstanding group of works alongside his own.”

Once Prized Possessions has finished its run at the Holburne Museum it will travel to Mauritshuis in The Hague in October 2018, and then to Petworth House in West Sussex in January 2019.