An Embarrassment of Riches – Earthly Delights and Spiritual Nourishment in the works of Vermeer, Rembrandt and Van Gogh
The Dutch Masters – Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh
with MICHAEL HOWARD BA(Hons) MA(Courtauld) FRSA
Dutch Painting is a celebration of the joy of simple but essential things, of being alive in
this world – of light, movement and things. people, rooms, landscapes, food of all kinds –
seen with such reverence that through looking at the physical we may find ourselves
transported to the spiritual.
Today we will explore the magic of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. Three very
different artists whose work sends us back into the world with new eyes, each painting
a gift from an old friend reminding us that whatever the world might throw at us –
there’re always things to love and be grateful for.
1 Rembrandt. Van Gogh once said of Rembrandt’s painting of the Jewish Bride, ‘I
would be happy to give ten years of my life, just to sit in front of this picture for a
fortnight, with only a crust of dry bread for food.’
- Vermeer. One of the most perfect of painters who shows us how the silent eloquence
of painting can re-enchant the world.
- Van Gogh. The incomparable Van Gogh: how much joy has he given to the world,
despite his troubled life?
Let us imagine that we have been graced with the presence of these three great artists
– and that they are talking to us about their work; trying to explain to us what it is that
makes the work of these artists so visually and emotionally compelling. Learning from
them, we will and from them we will gain insights that will not only transform our
gallery-going experience but also, I hope, realise how such artists’ work can transform
our day-to-day life – quite a challenge!
I will bring along to the day school some original works of art, including a Rembrandt etching, some Japanese prints and other related work.