Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck. Rembrandt’s Master Pupils.

Two Museums, One Idea

Many paintings are coming together from all over the world, from museums and private collections, for this double exhibition in Amsterdam. Some of them will be back in the Dutch capital for the first time since the seventeenth century. The exhibition explores the mastery of Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck in the seventeenth century at two locations that complement one another: training at the ‘first academy of art’ versus independence in the art market

From 13 October 2017 to 18 February 2018, the Amsterdam Museum and the Rembrandt House Museum present the first ever exhibition devoted to the painters Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck.

Two Museums, One Idea

Many paintings are coming together from all over the world, from museums and private collections, for this double exhibition in Amsterdam. Some of them will be back in the Dutch capital for the first time since the seventeenth century. The exhibition explores the mastery of Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck in the seventeenth century at two locations that complement one another: training at the ‘first academy of art’ versus independence in the art market

In the Rembrandt House, the place where the man who taught Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680) and Govert Flinck (1615-1660) lived and worked for almost twenty years, the emphasis is on their time with the master. Works of art transport visitors back in time to the painters’ early years and their training with Rembrandt, one soon after the other.

In the Amsterdam Museum, visitors will discover that Bol and Flinck developed into great artists in their own right. Helped by a carefully constructed and nurtured network, the ambitious painters succeeded in reaching the pinnacle of the art market. The two men, who were of an age, became formidable competitors of their former teacher – and of one another. During their lifetimes they were even more successful than Rembrandt.

In the same period, two other venues in the city, the Royal Palace in Dam Square and Museum Van Loon, will be reflecting the exhibition by presenting different facets of the two artists. The exhibition of Dutch Masters from the Hermitage will run almost concurrently in the Hermitage Amsterdam.

Left: Ferdinand Bol, Self-portrait, c. 1647. Canvas, 93 x 83,5 cm. Private collection. / Right: Govert Flinck, Self-portrait, c. 1640. Panel, 59 x 47 cm. Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum (on loan from a private collection)

Two Artists, One Teacher

Bol and Flinck are Rembrandt’s two most important pupils. Their impressive work is admired all over the world, streets have been named after them – and after three and a half centuries this exhibition is at last bringing them out of their teacher’s shadow. With superb portraits and dramatic scenes based on the Bible and the Classics, Bol and Flinck met the demands of their clients, who included prosperous merchants and representatives of the country’s maritime and political power.

Another View

The exhibition, full of stories as it is, presents an opportunity to explore the Amsterdam story of the 17th century from a different point of view. Director and theatre-maker Jörgen Tjon A Fong of Urban Myth has been invited to bring his wide theatrical experience and narrative skills to bear on aspects of the 17th century that cannot usually be seen in paintings.

Book

WBooks is publishing a lavishly illustrated book on the life and work of the two artists to accompany the exhibition.