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Alexandra Libby, Henriette Rahusen, Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century, NGA Online Editions, (accessed April 21, 2019).


Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century

The emergence of the Dutch school of painting in the early seventeenth century is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the history of the visual arts. The Netherlands had only recently become a political entity and was still suffering from the effects of a long and arduous war against Spain. Yet the small republic’s success in gaining independence from such a powerful adversary resulted in an enormous sense of self-esteem. The Dutch were proud of their achievements, proud of their land, and intent upon creating a form of government that would provide a broad and lasting foundation for the future. They expressed pride in their unique social and cultural heritage in many ways, but most famously in their rich artistic traditions.

The remarkable collection of Dutch seventeenth-century paintings in the National Gallery of Art includes works by the finest masters of the Golden Age, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, and Aelbert Cuyp. Now numbering more than 150 paintings, the collection comprises outstanding examples of the portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, marine paintings, still lifes, and biblical and mythological scenes that have made this school of painting one of the most beloved and admired in the history of European art.

The Catalog

This award-winning online catalog of the Gallery’s collection first launched in 2014, uniting a long tradition of authoritative, peer-reviewed content with the flexibility of online publishing. As works are added to the collection, new entries are added to the catalog. The newest entries, added on the occasion of the third anniversary of the volume’s original publication, include the following:   

Adam van Breen, Skating on the Frozen Amstel River, 1611

Aelbert Cuyp, Landscape with Herdsmen, mid-1650s

François van Daellen, Vanitas Still Life, c. 1650

Gerrit Dou, Bust of a Bearded Man, c. 1642/1645

Reinier Nooms, Amsterdam Harbor Scene, c. 1658

Entries devoted to recent acquisitions in the Gallery’s expanding collection are forthcoming.

We invite you to explore this catalog and delve into the Dutch Golden Age through the Gallery’s paintings.


Selected Exhibitions

Deceptions and Illusions: Five Centuries of Trompe l'Oeil Painting
October 13, 2002 – March 2, 2003
East Building, Mezzanine, Northwest, and Upper Level, Northwest and West Bridge
Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst
June 24 – October 14, 2012
West Building Main Floor
Johannes Vermeer's The Art of Painting
November 24, 1999 – February 8, 2000
West Building, Gallery 51
Gerard ter Borch
November 7, 2004 – January 30, 2005
West Building, Main Floor Galleries 74, 75, 76
Civic Pride: Group Portraits from Amsterdam
March 10, 2012 – August 28, 2017
West Building
Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered
October 26, 2008 – January 11, 2009
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 57 through 63
Rembrandt's Religious Etchings
January 30 – May 1, 2005
West Building, Main Floor, Dutch Cabinet Galleries
Johannes Vermeer
November 12, 1995 – February 11, 1996
West Building Main Floor
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry
October 22, 2017 – January 21, 2018
West Building, Main Floor
Gabriel Metsu, 1629–1667
April 10 – July 24, 2011
East Building, Ground Floor, Northeast
Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits
January 30 – May 1, 2005
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 50 and 51
Jan Steen: Painter and Storyteller
April 28 – August 16, 1996
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 72, 73, 77, 78
Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes of the Golden Age
February 1 – May 3, 2009
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 72 through 77
Small Wonders: Dutch Still Lifes by Adriaen Coorte
June 29 – September 28, 2003
West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 74
Aelbert Cuyp
October 7, 2001 – January 13, 2002
West Building Main Floor
Frans Hals
October 1 – December 31, 1989
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79
Jan de Bray and the Classical Tradition
March 13 – August 14, 2005
West Building Main Floor
Larger Than Life: Ter Brugghen's Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene
January 21 – May 15, 2011
West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 44
Pieter Claesz
Master of Haarlem Still Life
September 18 – December 31, 2005
West Building Main Floor
Judith Leyster, 1609–1660
June 21 – November 29, 2009
West Building, Main Floor, Dutch Cabinet Galleries
Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt
October 4, 2016 – January 2, 2017
West Building, Ground Floor