241010: Kunsthistorisches Museum The Golden Era – Dutch Group Portraits from Amsterdam's History Museum

Kunsthistorisches Museum The Golden Era – Dutch Group Portraits from Amsterdam's History Museum 09.09.10 to 21.11.10 Amsterdam's Golden Era in chiaroscuro Construction work in museums brings up unexpected chances. Instead of being consigned to the depot or to the restoration workshops, 11 of Amsterdam's History Museum's group portraits from between the years 1596 and 1673 have arrived as guests of Vienna's Museum of Fine Arts. Before the pictures of the artists Frans Badens and Adriaen Backer, of Rembrandt's pupils Ferdinand Bol, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Govaert Flinck, Bartholomäus van der Helst, Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy and Dirck van Santvoort journey back north to the "Schuttersgalerij", they will sojourn in Munich. The first impression on entering the room is stunning. At first, one feels scrutinized by the more than 100 pairs of eyes. The fantastically life-like faces with their white ruffs and collars appear in resplendent light in contrast to the dark clothing. Four enormous defensive pieces hang on two sides of the room. Through the different poses which seem to have the effect of being slightly casual, the portrayed men's bodies appear form a front to the observer. They are counteracted by pictures of regents and guilds on the other two walls. In each case, the centerpiece is a table about which the less important persons – in this case also women – are grouped. The tables are covered by table carpets, some of oriental origin, thus indicating the financial potency of these citizens. In place of the carpet on one of the tables, a human body lies almost naked. "The Anatomy of Dr. Frederik Ruysch" by Adriaen Backer. But the men in the background – members of a surgeons' association – are not really observing the object of their research. They are gazing into space. The dissected body appears graceful and very lively. The pictures were created with the purpose of bringing to light the newly found self-assurance that riches and clothing brought to those citizens who came to public office. One of the four painters represented here, Ferdinand Bol, was himself regent of a poorhouse. In the present day, it is no longer fashionable to taken on an administrative position in a charitable institution in proportion to someone’s social advancement. And there is practically no ambition live by the motto "Do good and talk about it" or even to have oneself be painted by an artist. Through a two-part photographic work, "Art Protectors" by Irene Andessner, a cautious attempt is make a connection to present-day art. By Maria-Gabriela Martinkowic Kunsthistorisches Museum 1010 Vienna, Burgring 5 Tel: 01/525 24-0 http://www.khm.at Opening hours: Tue - Sun 9.00 to 18.00

Kunsthistorisches Museum
1010 Wien, Burgring 5
Tel: +43 1 525 24 0
Email: info@khm.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 9.00-18.00

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