Gabriel Metsu: Rediscovered Master of the Dutch Golden Age

The Artist as Prodigal Son, 1661, Gabriel Metsu
The Artist as Prodigal Son, 1661, Gabriel Metsu

This spectacular exhibition pays homage to the remarkable painter Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667). It brings together some 40 of the artist's finest and most celebrated works from all phases of his career, including a number of recently discovered and restored works.

Despite his untimely death at the age of thirty-seven, Metsu produced one of the most awe-inspiring oeuvres by any painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Most of his works are exquisite scenes of everyday life which reflect his admiration for his contemporaries, including Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou and Johannes Vermeer.

Metsu had an unrivalled talent for imbuing his figures with humanity and personality. His engaging genre scenes provide a window onto life in seventeenth-century Holland, from the quarrels in the neighbourhood street market to the amorous affairs of the upper class. The works in the exhibition are drawn from private and public collections around the world: The Louvre, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Prado, Madrid; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden; The National Gallery, London; Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome, as well as several works from The Netherlands (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden; Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague). The exhibition also features the Gallery's own companion pieces, A Man Writing a Letterand A Woman Reading a Letter, generally considered to be the artist's most renowned works. Examples of Metsu's lesser known yet wonderfully accomplished achievements in the fields of religious painting, portraiture and still life are also highlighted.

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National Gallery of Ireland
National Gallery of Ireland
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