Dutch drawings
Hendrick Avercamp (Dutch, 1585–1634), “A Winter Scene with Two Gentlemen Playing Colf,” about 1615–1620, opaque watercolor with pen and brown ink, 9.4 × 15.6 cm (3 11/16 × 6 1/8 in.), 2008.13, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

During the seventeenth century, Dutch political and religious freedom as well as maritime trade and military strength ushered in an era of economic prosperity. In this golden age, artists inspired by the everyday made vast numbers of highly finished drawings. “Masterful Likeness: Dutch Drawings of the Golden Age” brings together landscapes, topographical views, portraits, and scenes of daily life, underscoring Dutch artists’ masterful description of the world around them.

Dutch drawings
Esaias van de Velde (Dutch, 1587–1630), “Winter Landscape with Tower,” about 1613–1614, pen and brown ink, brown and gray wash, incised for transfer, 11.5 × 17.6 cm (4 1/2 × 6 15/16 in.), 2014.43.1, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The seventeenth-century Dutch Republic’s art market flourished as members of a rising merchant class sought luxury goods to decorate their homes and assert their status. To meet the demands of these new patrons, Dutch artists not only produced paintings but created and sold drawings.

Dutch drawings
Willem Pietersz. Buytewech (Dutch, 1591–1624), “A Peasant Girl from Alkmaar,” about 1621, black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown ink framing lines, 19.5 × 13.5 cm (7 11/16 × 5 5/16 in.), 2014.41, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Stimulated by the bounty brought to the Netherlands on mercantile ships and an emerging national pride, artists chronicled their observations and ideas. This exhibition presents their proud commemorations of Dutch places, people, and pastimes, revealing how drawings reflect and shape national identity.

Dutch drawings
Abraham Rutgers (Dutch, 1632–1699), “A Street in Jisp on a Winter’s Day,” before 1664, pen and brown and black ink and brown and gray wash, 19.3 × 30.6 cm (7 5/8 × 12 1/16 in.), 2008.18, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

“Dutch artists documented and invented their world masterfully. The same attention to detail seen in capturing the specific – portraits of burghers, panoramic views of cities – is also used to create more generic subjects of artful fantasy,” says Stephanie Schrader, curator of drawings and organizer of the exhibition.

Dutch drawings
David Bailly (Dutch, 1584–1657), “Portrait of a Woman,” 1629, pen and light and dark brown ink; framing line in dark brown ink; pupils incised by the artist, Diam.: 12.9 cm (Diam.: 5 1/16 in.), 87.GA.40, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Dutch masters, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Albert Cuyp, and Hendrick Avercamp, will be featured alongside recent acquisitions of drawings by Gerard ter Borch, Willem Buytewech, and Esaias van de Velde.

Dutch drawings
Adriaen van Ostade (Dutch, 1610–1685), “Peasants Drinking in a Tavern,” early 1640s, pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk, 11 × 14.8 cm (4 5/16 × 5 13/16 in.), 2011.32, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Dutch drawings
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669), “Nude Woman with a Snake,” about 1637, red chalk with white gouache heightening, 24.7 × 13.7 cm (9 3/4 × 5 3/8 in.), 81.GB.27, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

“Masterful Likeness: Dutch Drawings of the Golden Age” is on view through October 28, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition is curated by Stephanie Schrader, curator in the Department of Drawings, and co-curated by Casey Lee, curatorial assistant in the Department of Drawings. Related programming will include gallery talks, a drawings hour, and more.

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