Portrait of a Man in an Oriental Costume
This weekend I saw the most wonderful exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery entitled Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art Masterpieces from The Rijksmuseum. Of course, the most spectacular of all the wonderful paintings was this one. I stared at the painting until I felt as if I were falling into it. I was hypnotized. This photograph does not do justice to the painting, and especially to the shimmering silk and gold braid on the man's turban. And in his jacket are beautiful flecks of gold and jewels. If you click on the image and enlarge it, you will see some of the beautiful details. Prepare to be gobsmacked. I could have sworn it was painted with gold paint. I am going back to the art gallery this weekend to look at the painting some more.
The painting has an interesting history. The painting An Oriental (1635) was originally purchased under the assumption that it was a Rembrandt - a notion that was later dismissed by art specialists. Thanks to new research techniques, we have known now for several years that the work is indeed from Rembrandt's hand. Later research revealed, however, that the wood came from the same tree as other panels painted by the master. It was also established that Rembrandt really must have signed the painting himself. It is possible that the panel was painted in Rembrandt's studio, but by one of his pupils, however nowadays the painting is generally regarded as an authentic Rembrandt. ... The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
The exhibit at the VAG is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. In an exclusive presentation, this exhibition will highlight the extraordinary works of art made during the seventeenth century in the Netherlands, a period known as the Golden Age. During this time the emerging Dutch Republic reached unprecedented economic, political and cultural heights and saw a brilliant flowering of artistic talent. This historic exhibition assembles some of the finest paintings by the masters of the Golden Age, as well as an outstanding selection of drawings and decorative arts that testify to the artistic sophistication achieved during this period, providing a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of this vibrant, urbane and remarkably wealthy new society. These stunning works of art—drawn from the renowned collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam—once graced the elegant interiors of the canal houses and country homes built by the aristocracy and the new merchant classes.
Celebrated artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals and Gerard Ter Borch created haunting portraits that capture in fine detail the lavish clothing, jewellery and ornate interiors of their patrons. With keen observation, artists Karel du Jardin, Adriaen van Ostade and Johannes Vermeer depicted their own well-appointed studios or created self-portraits, reflecting the rising status of the artist in Dutch society. Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch created minutely detailed scenes of daily life including humorous and moralizing scenes of children’s games or peasants drinking and dancing. Canvases by artists such as Aelbert Cuyp and Salomon van Ruysdael depict not only the prosperity of burgeoning urban centres, symbolized by new civic and residential building, but also the prosperous Dutch countryside and scenes from artists’ travel abroad. Also included are a large group of still-life paintings that are dazzling in their colour, detail and symbolism. The exhibition will allow visitors to view these splendid works of art within the rich context in which they were made. ... Vancouver Art Gallery
Paintings like these Dutch Masterpieces take my breath away. The artists who could paint like this were truly blessed.