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27-February-2015

Spanish Masters in Amsterdam

The ‘Spanish Masters from the Hermitage. The world of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya’ exhibition can be admired in the Hermitage until 29 May. This exhibition draws attention to the broader context of painting in the Spanish Golden Century (second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth century) and the echoes and continuation in subsequent centuries.

Spanish masterpieces were created during the reign of Philip II, the absolute monarch of a colonial empire who enforced strict rules for Catholic paintings. The period that followed was dominated by artists including Francisco de Zurbáran, also known as the Spanish Caravaggio.

A great many aspects of Spanish history are highlighted in this collection, such as the horrors of Napoleon’s conquest in 1808, bullfighting and Mediterranean pub life. The variation of the exhibition is also expressed in the alternation of Spanish painting styles: Baroque, Rococo, dramatic realism and spiritual minimalism.

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age

portraitgalleryofthegoldenage.com

For a crash course in the Dutch golden age visit this new exhibition in the Hermitage Amsterdam. It contains all the best schutterstukken, the huge and impressive group portraits the elite of the seventeenth century liked to be featured on - the most famous one of course being Rembrandt's Nightwatch. The paintings are so large and lifelike; you can almost imagine the portrayed stepping out of their frame to have a conversation with you. Together with some top pieces of other 17-century art the exhibition offers a unique insight into this period and the themes that shaped Dutch society. 

Seventeenth century beauties.

Intimate encounters with Amsterdam's former elite.

Skating has always been a Dutch hobby. Here's your chance to find out how that happened.

Tip

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the excellently stocked shop underneath the exhibition. You’re sure to find Dutch souvenirs for all members of your family and will probably get something for yourself as well.

The exhibition is hosted in the northern wing of this vast building, located prominently on the banks of the river Amstel.