Art Gallery of Alberta

Dutch Landscapes from Rembrandt to Van Gogh
March 23-June 16, 2013


image credits [click to view]


Jan van Goyen, River Scene, 1653. Black chalk with grey wash on laid paper, mounted on wove paper, 11.4 x 20.7 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Photo © NGC

Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Seascape, unknown. Watercolour on heavy wove paper, 47 x 57.4 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Gift of Hilda W. Mathewson, Ottawa, 1972. Photo © NGC

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Windmill, 1641. Etching on cream laid paper, 14.7 x 20.7 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Gift in memory of Margaret Wade Labarge from her collection, 2010. Photo © NGC



Both harbinger of danger and symbol of pride, the Dutch landscape and its typical motifs, such as the canals that criss-cross the country and the windmill, have been a source of infinite inspiration for the Dutch artists who have captured their essence and character over the centuries. Dutch Landscapes from Rembrandt to Van Gogh explores the emergence of this landscape tradition in the early 17th century, its blossoming during the Golden Age and its extension into the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of the greatest Dutch artists, such as Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael and Rembrandt—represented in the exhibition with four of his famous etchings—brilliantly contributed to the rise of landscape as a full blown pictorial genre. These developments were to influence the course of art history in the Netherlands, which was a strong trading, military, scientific and artistic power. The selection of the drawings and prints by Dutch artists portraying landscapes inspired by their country culminates with a signature artwork from the National Gallery of Canada collection, Vincent van Gogh’s drawing The Swamp. Executed in 1881, very early in his career during his Dutch period, this rare view of a Dutch site sketched from nature displays Van Gogh’s deep love of the landscape of the Netherlands and the country’s pictorial tradition.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada as part of The National Gallery of Canada at the Art Gallery of Alberta, presented with the support of Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power.