A portrait can be more than just the likeness of a person. In the 17th century, portraits were meant to convey a sitter’s status and wealth, values and attitudes, as well as taste and character.
How do we know who painted a work of art from the past? Or who the sitter is in a portrait? Or if a work has been damaged, or part of it has been lost?
In the 17th century the Netherlands profited from global trade. For the first time, an urban middle class dominated the country ’s economy and culture. Rich merchants acquired paintings of themselves, their families, their homes, their cities and their land to celebrate this new- found wealth and power.
Isaak Massa ( 1586–1643) was a self-made businessman, diplomat, map-maker and author from the Netherlands. Massa commissioned three portraits from Frans Hals, who was a close friend. One of these portraits included Massa’s new wife, Beatrix van der Laen.
Could this young girl of four already be engaged? Her ring, the little statue (symbol of fertility), the carnations, the fan and the peacock (symbol of Juno, goddess of child- birth) all refer to love and marriage.
This exhibition examines the Indian Church as a symbol for the rapid encroachment of Western modernity on First Nations.
Through this selection of images, you will encounter a typical travel album of its day, at a particular moment of cultural upheaval and exchange.
This exhibition explores a personal travel album, which charts a trip through several European cities during the spring and summer of 1936.