On Friday 1 November, the Public Lecture Innovation, Competition, and Fine Painting Technique: Marketing High-life Style in the Dutch 17th Century will take place at the RKD in The Hague. Tickets are now available in the RKD webshop.

Public Lecture RKD – Mauritshuis Visiting Fellows in Technical Studies

Innovation, Competition, and Fine Painting Technique: Marketing High-life Style in the Dutch 17th Century

Recent technical research at the National Gallery of Art in Washington explores artistic exchange among the painters featured in the exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry (Paris, Dublin, Washington, 2017). This study reveals that these elegant scenes, painted for an elite Dutch art market, shared physical characteristics that defined a collective “high-life” style. At the same time, the research shows that painters each marketed their works by cultivating a distinctive personal manner—and that through subtle variations of technique and materials they could sell at somewhat different price levels. Finally, this technical study offers direct evidence for seventeenth century artists’ evaluations of their contemporaries’ artistic style: as they selected recognizable features which they quoted in their own works for the amusement of sophisticated collectors.