Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer

Kings and queens are not by known for their collection of paintings depicting the everyday. Upon visiting a royal collection, one would expect to see flattering portraits commissioned to display the sitter’s power, interspersed perhaps with regal landscapes and scenes of battle (which are, of course, always victorious). Such vain portraits and sea warfare scenes do indeed feature in Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer, currently on show at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Fortunately, however, these rather repetitive and tedious subject matters are not the exhibition’s focus. The close relationship between the British and Dutch monarchy during the 17th century and then George IV’s taste for Dutch Golden Age art has resulted in one of the world’s most important collections of portraits, landscapes, religious scenes and – most importantly – portrayals of everyday life by Dutch masters of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman or 'The Music Lesson' (1662-5) by Johannes Vermeer | Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman or ‘The Music Lesson’ (1662-5) by Johannes Vermeer | Royal Collection Trust/ © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

Read the full review here.

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