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Art and Competition in the Dutch Golden Age: Erasmus Lectures on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders—Part 2

Johannes Vermeer, Dutch, A Young Woman seated at a Virginal, c. 1670–72. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, Salting Bequest, 1910 (NG2568). © National Gallery, London/Licensed by Art Resource, N.Y.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This event was recorded. Please view the lecture here.

In collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard, the Harvard Art Museums present Art and Competition in the Dutch Golden Age, a three-part lecture series delivered by Eric Jan Sluijter, professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam and the 2019 Erasmus Lecturer in Harvard’s Department of History of Art and Architecture.

About this program:
Artistic Competition and Creative Imitation: Gerard ter Borch, Frans van Mieris, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, and Johannes Vermeer

Beginning in about the mid-17th century, the most ambitious and talented Dutch painters turned to depicting scenes of beautifully dressed young women and men in luxurious interiors. These works share striking similarities in subject matter and composition, which suggests that these artists knew each other’s work well. Eric Jan Sluijter’s lecture will demonstrate that these painters, with a small group of discerning connoisseurs in mind, achieved their breathtaking level of quality by keeping a close eye on each other’s innovations and by competing with one another through creative imitation.

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 3:30pm.

Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 3:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.

After the lecture, guests are invited to visit our 17th-century Dutch galleries until 6pm.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

The 2019 Erasmus Lectures are presented at the Harvard Art Museums in collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard. Please join us for Part 1 of the series on Friday, February 22, and Part 3 on Friday, March 8.

The Erasmus Lectureship on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders invites lecturers to spend a semester in any department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The lectureship was endowed in 1967 by donations from individuals and businesses in the Netherlands and from Dutch expatriates in the United States. In 1994, the endowment was enlarged by a donation from the Government of Flanders.