Almost four hundred years after it was made, David Bailly's Vanitas still life with portrait of a young painter continues to fascinate art historians. The masterpiece raises all sorts of questions. Is it a self-portrait? To what do the various objects in the painting refer? And who is the mysterious female figure appearing against the back wall?
Unknown master from the 17th century
Despite this work appearing familiar to many people, the painter is hardly known to the general public. In the exhibition David Bailly - Time, Death and Vanity, you can discover this unknown master painter.
In recent years, curators of Museum De Lakenhal worked together with experts from Leiden University and Rijksmuseum, among others. In this research, they mapped Bailly's oeuvre for the first time, tracked down unknown portraits and discovered hidden faces under the paint layers of his masterpiece.
Bailly and contemporaries
This exhibition brings together 90 works including portraits and vanitas representations by David Bailly, and work by contemporaries such as Dou, Lievens and Rembrandt.
Explore the exhibition with your family like real detectives. With a bag full of research tools, together you will discover all the secrets of 17th-century David Bailly. Because what made him such an exceptional artist? After your visit, you will know exactly.more information
Every second friday of the month, come to the museum between work and the pub for a dose of inspiration and knowledge! During Lakenhal Late between 19.00 and 22.00, visit the exhibition and participate in an in-depth program consisting of lectures, flash tours, workshops, performances and more.
During your visit, learn all about new discoveries researchers have made about David Bailly in this free audio tour. Download the Lakenhal app from the App Store or Play Store, and get instant access to the special audio tour.more information
Vanitas Still Life reviewed
The masterpiece Vanitas still life with portrait of a young painter raises all sorts of questions. Is it a self-portrait? To what do the various objects in the painting refer? And who is the mysterious female figure appearing against the back wall? In this video you will discover all about the layers in this extraordinary work.watch the video
Composition inspired by Bailly
In the Miniatures series, violinist and artistic director of the series Tosca Opdam plays classical music in presence by art. Inspired by the Vanitas still life with portrait of a young painter by David Bailly, Bram Kortekaas composed the brand new piece Vanitas Vanitatum. Themes of death and time are expressed in his new composition for violin and viola, surrounded by the vanitas still life.watch the movie
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication presenting the results of the research on the Vanitas still life and Bailly. In it you can read how his oeuvre was brought together. You can also read how, thanks to material-technical research, the hidden layers of his most important masterpiece were revealed.
The book is published by Waanders and is for sale in our museum store, among others. The book is available in both Dutch and English.
Countless times, art lover and collector Haro Schultz van Haegen stands in front of David Bailly's Vanitas still life. The seventeenth-century artist has him in a grip. He travels after him, starts collecting his work, and reads about all the thinkers, writers and artists with whom Bailly surrounded himself, to finally grasp the essence of the Vanitas. It becomes increasingly clear that Bailly brings an important message, one that matters more than ever this day and age.
VIDEO TRIPTYCH BY INGE REISBERMAN
HOMO BULLA | THE LAST WALTZ
As part of the exhibition David Bailly - Time, Death and Vanity, the video triptych The Last Waltz by artist Inge Reisberman is on show. Both 17th-century painter Bailly and Reisberman were inspired by soap bubbles. Together with professional bubble blowers, Reisberman captured soap bubbles with three cameras from different angles. The three short films on show are part of seventeen video works she shot between 2019 and 2021, with the overarching title Homo Bulla.
This exhibition is curated by Janneke van Asperen and Christiaan Vogelaar.
In addition, contributors to the study included: Marika Keblusek, Rudi Ekkart, Karin Leonhard, Erma Hermens, Nathan Daly, Fred G. Meijer and Carla van de Puttelaar.
This exhibition was made possible by gemeente Leiden | Mondriaan Fonds | Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds | de mecenassen van ons Lucas van Leyden Mecenaat | Stichting Zabawas | Universiteit Leiden | Stichting Dorodarte and by the Rijksoverheid: the National Cultural Heritage Agency granted an indemnity guarantee on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.