Nicolaes Maes, 1634-1693
Portrait of a Lady, 1677
Oil on canvas, 67.6 x 56.5 cm (26-5/8 x 22-1/4 in.)

Nicolaes Maes was Rembrandt's best-known pupil and by the 1660s he had developed a fluid style of painting that readily lent itself to portraiture.


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Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667
A Girl Receiving a Letter, ca. 1658
Oil on panel, 25.7 x 24.4 cm (10-1/8 x 9-5/8 in.)

Writing letters became fashionable in Europe in the seventeenth century after the establishment of a postal system. Gabriel Metsu's painting is part of a Dutch tradition of images dealing with the popular subject of the love letter.


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Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669
Saint Bartholomew, 1657
Oil on canvas, 122.7 x 99.7 cm (48-3/8 x 39-1/4 in.)

Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the greatest artists of all time and acclaimed for his compelling representations of the human condition. Known primarily for his portraits and landscapes, Rembrandt remained interested throughout his life in history and biblical painting. The subject of this large, dramatic painting from the artist's mature period is Saint Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles.


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Peter Paul Rubens, 1577-1640
Portrait of a Young Man in Armor, ca. 1620
Oil on canvas, 64.8 x 50.8 cm (25-1/2 x 20 in.)

By the 1620s, Peter Paul Rubens was recognized as the foremost painter of decorative projects outside Italy, such as altarpieces and ceiling paintings for churches. He also produced portraits and mythological and biblical pictures for private patrons.

 


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Jacob van Ruisdael, 1628/29-1682
A View of Haarlem and Bleaching Fields, ca. 1665-70
Oil on canvas, 59.7 x 77.8
(23-1/2 x 30-5/8 in.)

Haarlem linen had a great reputation in the seventeenth century and the linen industry was enormously important to the city's economy. Clothing and uncut cloth were bleached in the fields around the city in a process that took several months.


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