The Massacre of the Innocents

Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem, 1590, painting, SK-A-128

Worship of the Golden Calf

Lucas van Leyden, c. 1530, painting, SK-A-3841

Chest with nine porcelain bottles

anonymous, c. 1680 - c. 1700, chest, NG-444

The box was probably made in Batavia (Jakarta). The bottles are from Japan. They would have been used for expensive spice oils to prepare food, perfumes or medicines. Representatives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) would present these as gifts to Asian potentates.

The Sick Child

Gabriël Metsu, c. 1664 - c. 1666, painting, SK-A-3059

A worried mother looks at her young daughter, slumped listlessly on her lap. Metsu chose an unusual subject, since depictions of poorly children are rare in 17th-century art. Perhaps he intended the mother to personify charity, Caritas. Then the picture of the Crucifixion on the wall would be a…

Portrait of Don Ramón Satué

Francisco de Goya, 1823, painting, SK-A-2963

Goya was well-known as a court-painter and for his idiosyncratic prints. He had already turned 76 when he painted this powerful portrait. Don Ramón was a judge in the highest tribunal of Castile. The casual pose and open collar have an informality Goya usually reserves for the portraits of his most…

Girl in a White Kimono

George Hendrik Breitner, 1894, painting, SK-A-3584

Inspired by Japanese prints, Breitner painted at least twelve versions of this girl in a white kimono around 1894. Each time, her pose is different and the kimono is a different colour. Here the embroidered white silk kimono with red trimmed sleeves and orange belt are what draw our attention. The…

The Art Gallery of Jan…

Adriaan de Lelie, 1794 - 1795, painting, SK-A-4100

In 1792, Gildemeester, a merchant, turned two large rooms at his house on Amsterdam’s Herengracht into an art gallery. Here he stands proudly at the centre of the front room, speaking with one of his guests. Visitors are examining famous paintings, including a Rembrandt - above Gildemeester’s head.…

The Holy Kinship

Geertgen tot Sint Jans (workshop of), c. 1495, painting, SK-A-500

Christ’s family is gathered together in this fictional medieval church: the Holy Family, known in Dutch as the holy ‘maagschap’, an old word for kinship. Left, in a blue robe, the Virgin Mary is seated with Jesus, and alongside, her mother Anna. Behind are the two husbands: Joseph and Joachim.…

Diorama of a Slave Dance

Gerrit Schouten, 1830, NG-2005-24

The scene in the dance tent is a ‘du’, a role-play event with music and dancing, held once every year on the plantations. Both players and audience were slaves. The main character was the ‘Afrankeri’, the narrator, left. The man in the red suit on the right is playing the king. Europeans in Suriname…

Haarlem reception room 1794

Abraham van der Hart, c. 1793 - c. 1795, BK-15613

This interior is from the home of merchant and art collector Willem Philip Kops, at Nieuwe Gracht 74 in Haarlem. The room was probably used for evening receptions. It is complete, except for the stucco ceiling. Abraham van der Hart, Amsterdam’s municipal architect, created a complete neoclassical…