The Leiden Collection and Long Museum (West Bund) announce the exhibition of masterpieces from the celebrated Leiden Collection, the largest and most important collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age in private hands. The exhibition will open on September 23, 2017 and continue through February 25, 2018. It will feature 78 works, making it the largest showing of seventeenth-century Dutch art ever presented in China. The selections will comprise 12 works by Rembrandt van Rijn, one painting by Johannes Vermeer, and two portrait paintings by Frans Hals, as well as masterpieces by other artists from the period.
The great masters Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals defined the Dutch Golden Age of the seventeenth century, making an extraordinary impact on the history of art. Rembrandt, the master of shadow and light, achieved a depth of human feeling in his paintings that has never been surpassed. Iconic works on view in the exhibition will include: Minerva in Her Study (part of a series represented at The State
Hermitage Museum, Museo Nacional Del Prado, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art), the much-storied Young Girl with a Gold-Trimmed Cloak, and the recently discovered Unconscious Patient (Allegory of Smell), the earliest of the artist’s signed works.
Vermeer’s extremely rare and highly treasured paintings depict the everyday life and activities of Dutch people in the seventeenth century, evoking a certain tenderness and tranquility. The exhibition will include Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, which is the only mature painting in private hands of the thirty-four known works by the artist. It is produced on the same bolt of cloth as the great artist’s The Lacemaker, which belongs to the Louvre’s permanent collection.
Frans Hals is best known for his distinctive portraits, which illustrate strata of society – from workers to pastors and government officials – and are renowned for the lively expressions on the sitters’ faces. At the Long Museum, two portraits of clergymen will be on view.
Other highlights of the exhibition include four works that have never before been exhibited in China. These are Rembrandt’s drawing Young Lion Resting, Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing Head of a Bear, and the paintings Emperor Commodus as Hercules and as a Gladiator and Julius Caesar by Peter Paul Rubens, the highly influential master of Baroque art.
The exhibition also features four paintings by Rembrandt’s studiomate in Leiden and friendly rival, Jan Lievens; a painting by Rembrandt’s pupil Carel Fabritius, Hagar and the Angel, which is one of only thirteen surviving works by the creator of The Goldfinch; nine paintings by Rembrandt’s first and most influential student Gerrit Dou; and six works by Jan Steen, one of the most accomplished genre painters of his era.