Although small, this area of the collection includes examples that highlight the quality and diversity of artistic production during the seventeenth century. Many painters specialized in a particular subject, such as landscape, portraiture, still life, church interior, genre, or religious painting. The characteristic common to most of the artists from this period demonstrates a heightened interest in observing the visible world, which produced works that resonate with life.
An exceedingly fine still-life painting by Balthasar van der Ast brings together both rare and commonplace objects rendered in a brilliantly realistic manner, while a rare winter landscape by Jacop van Ruisdael captures the hushed, late-afternoon chill of a Dutch winter day. Elegant portraits by Ferdinand Bol and Jan Mijtens hint at the affluence of merchants. Other subjects of everyday life provide glimpses into various interiors, such as an amorous scene by Jan Steen, a soaring church interior by Peeter Neeffs the Younger, and a vision of domestic tranquility with a woman devoted to a kitchen task. This latter work has been ascribed to no less than five artists, a fascinating example of an outstanding painting without a secure attribution.