The Bloemaert Effect

Dutch painting from the Golden Age is much more than the typically renowned works by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer, and more than the genre pieces by Jan Steen. From 12 November 2011 through 5 February 2012 the Centraal Museum presents the first retrospective of a celebrity from the Golden Age: Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651). Experts know who he is: the man who has painted big and impressive altar pieces but also charming and small size Madonna paintings. He is the painter of intimite, mythological paintings. A virtuoso, an inspirational landscape artist. A Mannerist, a Caravaggist, but also a Classicist and most of all an utter master.

With this exhibition, the Centraal Museum not only wants to show the greatness and the versatility of this artist but also to permanently add his name to the canon of Dutch art history. Bloemaert’s most beautiful works – paintings, drawings and prints – are brought together from collections owned by museums, private individuals and churches all over the world. Only this way justice is done to Bloemaert’s versatility, both as far as subject, format and style are concerned. Knowing what we should know about the Golden Age.

Abraham Bloemaert

Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651) has painted both important mythological and religious works. He has also painted genre pieces. His painted oeuvre comprises more than 200 works of which fourteen are in the possession of the Centraal Museum. The number of drawings is estimated at circa 1500 and there are more than 600 engravings. Bloemaert has been of great importance to Dutch art history. This ‘Father of the Utrecht school of painting’ trained and educated a great many Utrecht painters, including the Caravaggists Hendrick ter Brugghen and Gerard van Honthorst and the Italianists Jan Both, Cornelis van Poelenburgh and Jan Baptist Weenix. Not only the number of students, but also the many paintings and drawings, published as prints, have contributed to Bloemaert’s widely spread influence on the art of painting and drawing.

The exhibition includes an additional fee of € 3,-

Tip! Tickets also include admission to the Museum Catharijneconvent to see its new acquisition: Bloemaert's The Four Church Fathers from 1632. For more information:

The exhibition will be on show in Staatliches Museum in Schwerin, Germany, collaborator of this exhibition and its catalogue from 24 February till 28 May 2012.





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