Dutch Boys at Schiphol

July 3 2012 to December 3 2012
Rijksmuseum Schiphol

Three centuries of portraits of boys from the Rijksmuseum.

From 3 July, the Dutch Flowers exhibition at the Rijksmuseum annex at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be followed by the exhibition Dutch Boys. The fourteen works on display at the airport will bring together an extraordinary group of boys - from toddler to teenager, from angel to rascal. The paintings and miniature sculptures give an impression of how boys were immortalised in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Pride in our children and grandchildren is timeless. Just as we take photographs today, our ancestors had portraits painted of their offspring. However, compared to our fun snapshots, 17th-century portraits are rather sombre. The smartly dressed boys with serious expressions on their faces in the portraits by Ludolf Bakhuysen and Adriaen van Ostade are like small grown-ups, which is not surprising considering they are shouldering the responsibility of maintaining the family name.

Dreamy-eyed boys

While in the 18th century more attention was paid to the typical characteristics of children, the portraits of the time focussed on the virtuousness of the boys, as Dionys van Nijmegen demonstrates in the painting of his grandson. The Enlightenment Ideal of a well-behaved and conscientious child gave way to a romantic idea of children in the second half of the 19th century as artists such as Jacob Maris and August Allebé began painting portraits of dreamy-eyed boys. Much has changed through the centuries, but some things are timeless – such as mischief, as depicted by Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam.

Rijksmuseum Schiphol

Rijksmuseum Schiphol opened in 2002 on Holland Boulevard between Piers E and F in the area after passport control. The museum is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free. The Rijksmuseum Schiphol has a permanent exhibition of works by Dutch Golden Age Masters drawn from the Rijksmuseum collection. A temporary exhibition is also organised three times a year. This branch of the Rijksmuseum includes a modern Museum Shop featuring Dutch Design and Rijksmuseum souvenirs.

ING is the exclusive main sponsor of the Rijksmuseum Schiphol.