Still Life of Flowers, Fruit, Shells, and Insects

Still-life paintings are an important and much-admired type in seventeenth-century Dutch art. Van der Ast is considered a master of the “combined” still life composition; he had an exceptional ability to join flowers, fruit, and exotic shells into one powerful image. Although the placement of elements appears casual, it is instead highly deliberate. This painting […]

Christ Presented to the People (Ecce Homo)

This print is one of the most famous in the history of printmaking because of the many reworkings it underwent. It was made entirely in drypoint (lines drawn with a needle directly onto the copper plate, rather than onto a ground of wax or resin covering the plate) and progressed through numerous states. Earlier states included a […]

Farmhouse with Artist Sketching

The many details of this farmhouse have led scholars to believe that Rembrandt etched a specific structure from life. Artists, particularly painters, enjoyed the ease of use of the etching needle, as opposed to the engraving burin. The needle could be used as freely as a pen, since the needle draws the image onto the […]

Portrait of the van der Graeff Family

Jan Mijtens specialized in painting group portraits within a landscape setting. This painting depicts Pieter and Sophia van der Graeff with their daughters Machtild, who carries a basket of flowers, and Cornelia, who holds a nautilus shell. A third daughter, Petronella, hovers in the clouds above, a Dutch convention for representing deceased children. She directs […]

An Allegory of Music

This painting is thought to represent an allegory of music. Four figures are singing from a book and sheets of music. The female figure probably represents Euterpe, the Muse of music from ancient Greek mythology, because she is wearing her traditional attribute, flowers, in her hair. On the left, a white boy turns in the […]