Rembrandt, Vermeer Exhibit in Kansas City
Mary E. Latela, May 13, 2016
The opportunity to see the work of Rembrandt, Vanmeer, and other Dutch masters resulted in a refreshing stroll through a lavish period of art in Holland, during the period of the New Republic.
This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and transported to Kansas City, to the prestigious Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The vibrant, full array of work was sponsored by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, and other local foundations.
The exhibit was full and broad, with entire walls covered with paintings by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history, and those of Johannes Vermeer and other Dutch masters.
Visitors spent time viewing the larger than life paintings of the clear and varied display, reading the delicately inscribed descriptions and following the theme, namely, the effect of class on the art of the period. This groundbreaking exhibition examines 17th-century Dutch paintings in light of the new Republic’s social structure. Although the Dutch Republic was relatively democratic at the time, class distinctions remained and conveyed a variety of meanings to its citizens. Through approximately seventy carefully selected and arranged paintings, the exhibition presented the ways in which Dutch art reflected various socio-economic groups.
An afternoon in a fine art museum is like an out-of-time visit to another time and place in which people are portrayed in their work clothes and in their finery, finding their way through a changing homeland so long ago. This is a place to which we return for refreshment of the soul and mind, and come away in a cloud of loveliness.