A safe and enjoyable museum visit for everyone


9 March - 31 August 2014

Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) is one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. With this exhibition, Museum De Lakenhal pays tribute to this master who was born in Leiden 400 years ago. This is the first time ever all of Dou’s paintings from The Leiden Collection in New York have been publically displayed, and now it happens in Leiden, the city where they were painted. A world première!


The Leiden Collection in New York is a private collection of Dutch seventeenth-century paintings. It contains important works by Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer, among others, but it is mainly centred around the Leiden 'fijnschilders' (fine painters). In the space of ten years, the collection has grown to include some 200 works, making it the largest of its kind. Fourteen paintings by Gerrit Dou form the core of the collection. These will be shown at Museum De Lakenhal, alongside five related paintings from The Leiden Collection: two paintings from the circle of Dou, two paintings by Dou’s student Dominicus van Tol, and one rare, early work by Dou’s most talented student Frans van Mieris.


After an apprenticeship with Rembrandt, Dou quickly proved to be a master in imitating material reality. His rendering of reflected light and materials such as copper or stone was unsurpassed, and his work was imitated by numerous painters in Leiden and beyond. Dou is accordingly considered to be the founder of the Leiden fijnschilders. Already during his lifetime, his work was celebrated by royal patrons such as Queen Christina of Sweden and Archduke Cosimo III of Tuscany. The latter even visited Dou at his home in Leiden.

Gerrit Dou, Herring Seller and Boy (detail) ca. 1670-1675
Gerrit Dou, Herring Seller and Boy (detail) ca. 1670-1675 Leiden Collection, New York


The Leiden Collection contains works from each phase of Dou’s career. Recent technical research has offered new insights into the working process of this important artist of the Dutch Golden Age, who has otherwise received relatively little attention. This research will soon be published in an online collection catalogue of The Leiden Collection, which will make the entire collection accessible for the first time. The exhibition in Leiden provides an exclusive preview of the results of this technical research.


The presentation of the exhibition 'Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York' in Museum De Lakenhal, is a homecoming for the works that the artist painted in the city of Leiden. Gerrit Dou painted the works in the workshop in the Galgewater, at a 500 metres distance of Museum De Lakenhal. The exhibition is divided into four parts: Gerrit Dou and Rembrandt, Gerrit Dou as portrait painter, Genre scenes & Fame and Imitation. This exhibition forms a perfect match with Museum De Lakenhal’s collection, which comprises works of Gerrit Dou's teacher Rembrandt van Rijn, but also works by his students, such as Frans van Mieris, Pieter van Slingelandt and Godfried Schalcken. Also, there is a rich representation of works by contemporaries such as Jan Lievens, Jan Steen, Jan van Goyen and Gabriel Metsu.


Planning on visiting the exhibition with a group? Book a personal elucidation of Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York. In the adjecent lecture room, a professional tour guide gives a 30 minute presentation about Gerrit Dou's life and work. A special enrichment of your museum visit!

Costs: 60 euros per group (excl. entrance fee per person)

More information and reservations: boekingen@lakenhal.nl

Visitors exhibition 'Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York'.
Visitors exhibition 'Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York'. Photo: Marc de Haan