From April 2 until August 2, The San Diego Museum of Art will present an exhibition featuring some of the finest still life and landscape paintings from the Netherlands and other European countries. ‘Brueghel to Canaletto: European Masterpieces from the Grasset Collection’ includes works by leading Dutch, Flemish, Italian, Spanish and German artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Made possible by a loan from a European family, of French origin with close connection to Spain, the exhibition features nearly 40 works never before displayed publicly.
Spanning the years 1600 to 1750, the featured works represent a turning point in history when artwork began to be collected by those other than nobility – and the art market emerged. Grouped thematically, the exhibition begins with still lifes including floral arrangements featuring exquisite flowers imported from around the world and sumptuous banquet scenes featuring exotic fruits, cheeses, fine wine, imported silver and Chinese porcelain highly coveted in the Netherlands, reflecting the high-society influences of the time. The exhibition also includes landscapes depicting the day-to-day lives of common folk, as well as maritime scenes that became increasingly popular throughout northern Europe at the time.
The exhibition brings together a rare grouping of artists from the “Golden Age,” including Barent Avercamp, famous for his paintings of everyday life in the Netherlands, and Canaletto, an artist renowned for his views of the canals of Venice.
Notable works featured in the exhibition also include Floris Claesz van Dyck’s ‘Still Life of Fruit and Olives,’ Osias Beert’s ‘Still Life of Flowers in a Stone Vase,’ Jan Brueghel’s ‘A Wooded River Landscape, with a Fish Market and Fishing Boats,’ and Esias van de Velde’s ‘Winter Landscape with Elegant Skaters and a Woman Frying Pancakes on a Frozen Waterway.’
“These paintings represent more than flowers and still lifes–they convey the ephemeral nature of life,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director of The San Diego Museum of Art. “The works in ‘Brueghel to Canaletto: European Masterpieces from the Grasset Collection’ reflect a pivotal time in history as art became a more accessible commodity, and the masters of this period became more technically advanced as a result.”
Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses the world’s finest art in America’s Finest City. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned collections include Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings including the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings, and 19th and 20th century American paintings and sculptures. The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults.