On 7th October 2015, I thoroughly enjoyed the press launch for the Mauritshuis “Dutch Self-Portraits of the Golden Age” exhibition in The Hague, the Netherlands. From 8 October 2015 through 3 January 2016, visitors have the chance to come face-to-face with legendary painters such as Jan Steen, Rembrandt, Carel Fabritius and Gerrit Dou.
Many seventeenth-century Dutch painters have made self-portraits, more than in any other country. Some painters such as Rembrandt for example were true experts, whereas others only left one known self-portrait. The exhibition offers a brief overview of the genre. Using twenty-seven paintings (mostly on loan), the various types of self-portraits are explained: portraits such as ‘upper-middle class gentleman’, self-portraits with others (for example family members), self-portraits with a still life, self-portraits in a role (such as hunter) and self-portraits with trade attributes (palette, brushes, easel). This latter category is especially well represented in Dutch art.
The layout of the exhibition involves mirrors, adding to the unique feel of how the painters themselves would have used a mirror when painting the portrait.
There is an interesting catalogue (which I’m holding in the picture) with insights behind the portraits, available in both Dutch and English.
Full information here:
I also wrote about this over on The Hague Online: