Dutch Republic

A prosperous middle class eager to express its status and its new sense of national pride, replaced the church and monarchy as the primary patrons of art.

1600 - 1700

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Jacob van Ruisdael, <em>The Jewish Cemetery</em>
Jacob van Ruisdael, The Jewish Cemetery

As we can see in a closer examination of The Jewish Cemetery, Ruisdael's works were closely based on, but not entirely beholden to, the world he saw around him.

Rembrandt, <em>Self-Portrait with Two Circles</em>
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait with Two Circles

Rembrandt's enigmatic self-portrait at Kenwood House is an apt example of the artist's long career in self-exploration.

Saenredam, <em>Interior of Saint Bavo, Haarlem</em>
Saenredam, Interior of Saint Bavo, Haarlem

Perspective is the star of this painting. Saenredam expertly widens the viewpoint to create an interior panorama.

Rembrandt, <em>The Jewish Bride</em>
Rembrandt, The Jewish Bride

With its almost sculptural surface and dazzling range of textures, this painting once reduced van Gogh to tears.

Huis ten Bosch (House in the Woods)
Huis ten Bosch (House in the Woods)

Built for nobility and now home to royals, this palace has a checkered past. It held art, then political prisoners.

The Town Hall of Amsterdam
The Town Hall of Amsterdam

Is this the eighth wonder of the world? Amsterdam’s leaders thought so—their hall contains a universe in miniature.

Judith Leyster, <em>The Proposition</em>
Judith Leyster, The Proposition

Virtue, or vice? This seated woman is an icon of domesticity, but the man’s money may tempt her away from work.

Frans Hals, <em>The Women Regents</em>
Frans Hals, The Women Regents

The subjects appear quiet and austere, yet Hals’s expressive use of paint animates this group portrait.

Rembrandt, <em>Girl at a Window</em>
Rembrandt, Girl at a Window

In this painting, Rembrandt plays with the division between reality and illusion, present and past. Who’s the girl?

Gerrit Dou, <em>A Woman Playing a Clavichord</em>
Gerrit Dou, A Woman Playing a Clavichord

Are we awaiting a duet or interrupting a solo? One of Dou’s finest, this intimate scene defies easy interpretation.

Willem Kalf, <em>Still Life with a Silver Ewer</em>
Willem Kalf, Still Life with a Silver Ewer

Kalf celebrates the fruits of life but reminds us of our mortality. The light—and his technique—are otherworldly.

Rembrandt, <em>Christ Crucified between the Two Thieves: The Three Crosses</em>
Rembrandt, Christ Crucified between the Two Thieves: The Three Crosses

Zero in on the beautiful passages of line in this print—and witness the artist at work.

Selected Contributors