Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Water, Wind, and Waves: Marine Paintings from the Dutch Golden Age
July 1 – November 25, 2018
West Building, Main Floor

Ludolf Backhuysen, Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast, 1667, oil on canvas, overall: 114.3 x 167.3 cm (45 x 65 7/8 in.) framed: 147.3 x 146.1 x 6.4 cm (58 x 57 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund

The Dutch rose to greatness from the riches of the sea. Dutch-designed cargo ships revolutionized marine transport and helped Dutch traders become the leaders of maritime commerce, while Dutch shipyards produced warships that made the Admiralty a powerful naval force. The water, central to their economic and naval prosperity, was also a source of pleasure and enjoyment for the Dutch. In the warm summer months, dune-covered beaches offered scenic vistas, while in the winter, frozen canals provided a place for people of all ages to skate, play, and enjoy the outdoors. Within this nation of merchants, engineers, sailors, and skaters, it is no wonder marine paintings became a favorite subject for artists and collectors alike. This exhibition celebrates the essential relationship the Dutch had with water through some 45 paintings, drawings, prints, rare books, and ship models. Drawn largely from the National Gallery of Art’s collection, the exhibition features works by artists such as Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Aelbert Cuyp, and Willem van de Velde the Younger. Scenes range from quiet harbor views, frozen canals, and calm seas to dramatic shipwrecks and fierce naval battles, revealing the full range of marine art during the Dutch Golden Age

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Sponsors: This exhibition is made possible by the Hata Foundation.

Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required