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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : Harvard Art Museums : Room 2300

Harvard Art Museums – Room 2300

Art From Us, Museum Guide #870

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #870 the spotlight is on the Harvard Art Museums’ Room 2300. Showcasing a collection of The Arts in the Seventeenth–Century Dutch and Flemish Art.

The three works in focus are :

Moonlit Estuary, Aert van der Neer, c. 1640-1650
An English Galliot at Sea Running Before a Strong Wind, Willem van de Velde II, c. 1690
Venus Mourning the Death of Adonis, Bartholomeus Breenbergh, 1646

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #870

The artworks in this gallery are from the era following the civil war in Netherlands, which left the country divided.

According to the digital catalogue of the Harvard Art Museums, the North of the country was Protestant, while the South was Catholic.

“In the southern Netherlands, religious institutions and the nobility were the principal patrons. The scale of the paintings they commissioned often required the services of a large workshop, such as that operated by Peter Paul Rubens.”

At the time of the Dutch Golden Age, trade and commerce flourished in the Netherlands. The economy was strong and therefore people had more money to spend on luxury commodities such as art. This further fueled the art market and talent of budding Dutch artists, providing them sufficient encouragement and validation through commissions and patronage.

As is stated by the Museum :

“Rubens was the most renowned European painter of his generation. During his lifetime, Antwerp, the commercial and cultural capital of northern Europe in the previous century, remained a vibrant artistic center, even as its economy stagnated under the conservative Spanish regime and the Dutch dominated maritime commerce.”


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