Medieval/Early Netherlandish Period
Medieval/Early Netherlandish Period
Featured: Arnolfini Portrait (1434, National Gallery, London), Portrait of a Man (1433, National Gallery, London).
Van Eyck was active in the same era as Bosch, but he was much more influenced by the encroaching Renaissance values. This can be seen in his subject matter, as he portrayed both religious and secular paintings. However, unlike Bosch, his style was much more typical of the Renaissance, as even in his time, he became reputable for his attention to anatomical detail and painterly realism.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490–1510, Museo del Prado, Madrid), Temptation of St. Antony (1500-25, Prado Museum, Madrid).
Bosch is one of the most famous of the Early Netherlandish artists- a subset of the Medieval Gothic Period. Typical of this era, Bosch's paintings are largely religious in nature, depicting fantastical, often morbid Biblical imagery. As he was active just before the Renaissance artistic values of secular subjects and realism, these Biblical scenes are painted using highly pigmented, bright colours: more stylized than realistic.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms (North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina), The Fat Kitchen (1507, National Gallery of Denmark), Apostles Peter and John (1575, The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg).
Aertsen is known for his Mannerist paintings: a subset of the Renaissance that emphasised dramatic representation and idealised figures over realism. He combined this visual style with Genre painting: which refers to the artistic portrayal of peasantry involved in everyday activities. His most famous paintings, such as The Fat Kitchen is that of dramatic and often comical scenes taking place in the market-place.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: The Peasant Wedding (1567,Kunsthistorisches Museum,Vienna), Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1560, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Belgium).
Bruegel the Elder was a reputable Renaissance landscape painter, who painted both mythical and everyday scenes, but largely the latter. Specifically, he's known for his works depicting rural, peasant life, so much so that he was termed 'Peasant-Bruegel' during his lifetime. He was also famous for his Classical and Biblical paintings, especially Landscape with the Fall of Icarus.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Dutch Golden Age
Featured: Laughing Cavalier (1624, currently in the Wallace Collection, London), Wedding Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen (1622).
Frans Hals was a Golden Age painter who even during his lifetime, was an established portrait artist, drawing inspiration from a variety of social subjects: from gentry to peasant-folk. His self-portraits have also become quite iconic, especially a series of paintings featuring himself leaning on the back of a chair.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: The Night Watch (1642, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Self-portrait (1628, Rijskmuseum, Amsterdam).
Much like Vermeer, Rembrandt is another artistic giant of the Golden Age who is famously known for developing painting techniques such as chiascuro: the use of naturalistic lighting using a strong contrast of light and dark. An incredibly sensitive and versatile artist, he tackled both portraiture and large-scale canvas paintings (most famously The Night Watch, on permanent loan at the Rijksmuseum) with effortless dramatic emotion.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life (1640, National Gallery in London).
Steenwyck was a Golden Age painter of vanitas artworks, objects meant to remind one of death, and of the spiritual emptiness of material possessions. For instance, a skull is often juxtaposed next to symbols of decadence: exotic foods, jewelry etc.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665, Mauritshuis, The Hague, Netherlands), Woman in Blue reading a letter (1663-4, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), The Milkmaid (1658, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).
One of the most famous painters of the period who produced various iconic pieces of realistic portraiture, including Girl with the Pearl Earring. He was especially known for his use of colours: whereas most artists would use a toned-down, earthy palette of browns and beiges, Vermeer would contrast these with large swathes of luminous blue. A famous example is The Milkmaid, which is on permanent loan to the Rijsmuseum in Amsterdam.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: The Starry Night (1889, Museum of Modern Art, New York), Bedroom in Arles (1888, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam), Still Life: Vase with Sunflowers (1888, Neue Pinakothek Museum, Munich).
Van Gogh, one of the most recognisable artists of all time, developed his trademark Impressionist style of using vibrant colours in expressive, painterly brushstrokes. Despite being Dutch, he spent most of his time abroad, painting scenes of the French countryside: it is there that he painted most of his iconic pieces, such as Starry Night, or Sunflowers.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: The Dam (1865, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Reclining Woman (1888, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
By the late 19th century, the strict realism of the Renaissance had given way to the sensitive, more experimental Impressionistic paintings. Breitner was a leading figure of this genre in Amsterdam: he embodied the anti-Renaissance values of Impressionism, painting the unremarkable and everyday in a realistic style, with visible brush-strokes.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: Tableau I (Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany), Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942-43, Museum of Modern Art in New York), Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray and Blue (1921, Philadelphia Museum of Art).
During the 1920s, there was a movement in European avant-garde circles to move towards 'complete abstraction': when the painting has no visual resemblance to external reality. Mondrian, one of the leading painters of the Dutch movement 'De Stijl', or Neo-plasticism, reduced the elements on the canvas into basic, two dimensional cuboids and primary colours. These paintings, with blocks of primary colours jumping out from the white canvas, were inspired by the energy and vitality of metropolitan cities, specifically Paris and New York.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: Woman I (1959-52, Modern Museum of Art in New York), Woman V (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra).
In the mid-20th century, Dutch expat de Kooning was part of the American Abstract Expressionist boom, along with Jackson Pollock. Inspired by Picasso, his most iconic series of paintings (all entitled Woman) deconstructed the female body to its basic geometric form, almost in a child-like manner. This was done largely to subvert the way in which the women's bodies were often sexualised and fetishized in 'traditional' art.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: Questioning Children (1949, Tate Modern, London), Frog with Umbrella (2001, The Hague).
Appel was part of a mid-20th century Dutch movement entitled COBRA an experimental art movement attempting to recreate a sense of childhood, both through the subject and its style. Often, his paintings and sculpture would take inspiration from children's fairy tales and folklore, such as the installation of Frog with Umbrella in the Hague.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?
Featured: Grief (Photographic series, 2007, Flatland Gallery and Reflex Gallery).
Erwin Olaf is a world-reknowned photographer, and is part of a continuing tradition of the well-established photography scene in Amsterdam. As with most contemporary artists working with digital or media, he is known for his commercial, as well as his artistic works, becoming well-known for addressing social taboos.Where can I find this artist in Amsterdam?