In the seventeenth century, Dutch merchants sailed across seas and oceans, joining trade networks that stretched from Asia to the Americas and Africa. This unprecedented movement of goods, ideas, and people gave rise to what many consider the first age of globalization and sparked an artistic boom in the Netherlands.
Dutch Art in a Global Age brings together paintings by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Gerrit Dou, Jacob van Ruisdael, Maria Schalcken, and other celebrated artists from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s renowned collection. These are joined by four Dutch paintings from the Kimbell’s permanent collection, along with prints, maps, and stunning decorative objects in silver, porcelain, glass, and more, from the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth centuries. Exploring how Dutch dominance in international commerce transformed life in the Netherlands and created an extraordinary cultural flourishing, the exhibition also includes new scholarship that contextualizes seventeenth-century Dutch art within the complex histories of colonial expansion, wealth disparity, and the transatlantic slave trade during this period.