The National Gallery of Victoria has a exhibition displaying Dutch art work from around the 17th Century.
I was quite amazed at a lot of the work, it was a lot better than I thought it would be, I wasn’t particularly interested in the porcelain, glasswork or pottery, they just didn’t seem quite as impressive as the art work.
Although there was one example of engraving that was extremely impressive, it was done on a blue decanter I think, but it was stunning the detail and the perfection considering that time that it was made when compared to the knowledge and technology that we have available now.
I particularly liked comparing the art works of Masters to Students, one good example was when art was compared between Rembrandt and Frans Hals, it is clear in Hals early career how similar his style was to Rembrandt but then when you see his later work it stood on its own as great art. Even seeing art from Rembrandt early and then later in his career you can see how it has developed and changed depending on where he was and the environment that surrounded him.
There were a few different sections in the exhibition: Still Life (Food, Flora & Fauna), Portrait, Landscape, Religion & Society, there might have been one more but I can’t remember, there was even a table rug.
There are quite a few pieces that I liked quite a lot, but I can’t remember their names, so sometime in the near future I will have to buy the catalogue so I have something to remember.
It’s hard to explain what I like about the paintings the most, it’s the striking clarity, clean lines (some) how the foreground is focused while the background is more muted to focus your attention on a particular subject.
The most fantastic use of light and shadow to give the art a very real 3D effect to the point that it almost jumps out at you, even the black clothes in some paintings.
Something that I did discover was the mediums that they used to paint on ( canvas, wood, and even copper) seemed to allow the artist to convey vivid clarity with colours, shapes and extraordinary fine detail that on occasion I would wonder at the depth of skill, time and imagination it would have taken to craft such a piece. There is a particular painting of a town with the hustle and bustle of people, horses and business that represents this, also the detail in the lace on clothes is quite simply amazing.
The way that some painters had done the landscape art was stunning to say the least, many were like a story, the detail and clarity of the trees looked like a photograph.
I am extremely glad that I did go to see the exhibition, if I missed out I suppose that I really wouldn’t have mattered to me, because I’m not that much of an art connoisseur. I would have to say that going has defiantly raised a certain interest on the subject and I might be checking out other exhibitions either obscure or popular.
I might see if I can grab some examples and put them up there.
That’s all for now.