Many people must dream of meeting a great artist like Rembrandt eye to eye on an equal footing.
The Museum is making that dream come true for art-loving children. In the collection display The Children’s Republic they will be able to see major works of Baroque art literally at eye level and interspersed with pictures by young artists, aged between eight and twelve, who have been inspired by the detail and narrative richness of Dutch seventeenth-century painting.
Children and their education were accorded exceptional importance in the Netherlands at that time. The family was seen as the basis and guarantor of a wealthy society, with education forming an essential precondition of economic growth. Such views are clearly reflected in the art of the period.
As the new presentation in the Museum’s Baroque galleries makes clear, children play an important part in many paintings, whether as the protagonists of portraits or as supporting figures in genre images or landscapes. In a sense, then, the Netherlands was indeed a children’s republic.