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Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age at Hermitage Amsterdam

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age
at Hermitage Amsterdam
Nov 29, 2014 - Dec 31, 2016
The exhibition Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age will open in Hermitage Amsterdam from 29 November 2014 until the end of 2016. The presentation features over thirty group portraits dating from the 17th century. These enormous paintings originate from the Amsterdam Museum and Rijksmuseum and are accompanied by other paintings and objects. Together they illustrate the story of collective citizenship that typifies the Netherlands. These "brothers and sisters" of the Night Watch are unique in the world and rarely seen due to their size. Thanks to a special partnership between the Amsterdam Museum, Rijksmuseum and Hermitage Amsterdam, these masterpieces will be visible to a large international audience.
The question of who these civic guards, regents and regentesses were and their achievements within 17th century urban culture forms the thread of the story. While the power in the rest of Europe lay in the hands of rulers and church officials, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was ruled by the bourgeoisie. By governing city and country, trading, taking on the city’s defence, stimulating scientific developments and setting up and managing the social safety net, the citizens ensured that the Republic became one of the most powerful and prosperous nations in Europe. The exhibition literally and figuratively gives a face to these influential men and women, particularly those from the city of Amsterdam, and makes it clear how the 17th century mentality led to manners and standards that can still be recognized in contemporary society.

Immediately upon entering the large ground floor hall in the Herenvleugel exhibition wing, visitors stand face to face with these influential citizens. The canvases - the largest of which measures approximately 3 x 6 metres - are hung in two rows and guarantee a spectacular presentation.
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