In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met

October 16th, 2018 - Ongoing
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century—the Golden Age of Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer—have been a highlight of The Met collection since the Museum's founding purchase in 1871. This exhibition brings together some of the Museum's greatest paintings to present this remarkable chapter of art history in a new light. Through sixty-seven works of art organized thematically, In Praise of Painting orients visitors to key issues in seventeenth-century Dutch culture—from debates about religion and conspicuous consumption to painters' fascination with the domestic lives of women.

The exhibition provides a fresh perspective on the canon and parameters of the Dutch Golden Age by uniting paintings from Benjamin Altman's bequest, the Robert Lehman Collection, and the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection. Works typically displayed separately in the Museum's galleries—such as Rembrandt's Gerard de Lairesse and Lairesse's own Apollo and Aurora—are presented side by side, producing a visually compelling narrative about the tensions between realism and idealism during this period. The presentation also provides the opportunity to conserve and display rarely exhibited paintings, including Margareta Haverman's A Vase of Flowers—one of only two known paintings by the artist and the only painting by an early modern Dutch woman currently in The Met collection. The exhibition takes its title from one of the period's major works of art theory, Philips Angel's The Praise of Painting (1642), a pioneering defense of realism in art.

Accompanied by an Audio Guide.


The exhibition is made possible by the HATA Foundation Fund.

The Audio Guide for this exhibition explores the enduring appeal of Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century. Hear from experts in diverse fields about how these artworks inspire them: a poet muses on still lifes and hidden truths, a cinematographer meditates on stories told with light, and a Dutch florist rearranges the fiction of floral arrangements.

Click here to listen to the Audio Guide.

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A Vase of Flowers, Margareta Haverman  Dutch, Oil on wood
Margareta Haverman (Dutch, Breda 1693–1722 or later)
Drawing the Eel, Salomon van Ruysdael  Dutch, Oil on wood
Salomon van Ruysdael (Dutch, Naarden, born ca. 1600–1603, died 1670 Haarlem)
early 1650s
Still Life with a Glass and Oysters, Jan Davidsz de Heem  Dutch, Oil on wood
Jan Davidsz de Heem (Dutch, Utrecht 1606–1683/84 Antwerp)
ca. 1640
A Kitchen, Hendrick Sorgh  Dutch, Oil on wood
Hendrick Sorgh (Dutch, Rotterdam 1609/11–1670 Rotterdam)
ca. 1643
Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Johannes Vermeer  Dutch, Oil on canvas
Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, Delft 1632–1675 Delft)
ca. 1662
A Musical Party, Gabriël Metsu  Dutch, Oil on canvas
Gabriël Metsu (Dutch, Leiden 1629–1667 Amsterdam)
Kitchen Scene, Peter Wtewael  Dutch, Oil on canvas
Peter Wtewael (Dutch, Utrecht 1596–1660 Utrecht)
Calm Sea, Simon de Vlieger  Dutch, Oil on wood
Simon de Vlieger (Dutch, Rotterdam (?) ca. 1600/1601–1653 Weesp)
after 1640
Young Man and Woman in an Inn, Frans Hals  Dutch, Oil on canvas
Frans Hals (Dutch, Antwerp 1582/83–1666 Haarlem)
Merrymakers at Shrovetide, Frans Hals  Dutch, Oil on canvas
Frans Hals (Dutch, Antwerp 1582/83–1666 Haarlem)
ca. 1616–17

Latest reviews

How great are The Met’s holdings in the Dutch Golden Age? Very.

The New Yorker

. . . gorgeous show of treasures . . .

Our Town
Marquee: Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675). Young Woman with a Water Pitcher (detail), ca. 1662. Oil on canvas, 18 x 16 in. (45.7 x 40.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.21)

Plan Your Visit

October 16th, 2018 - Ongoing
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.