March 16-June 12, 2017

Drawing the Everyday

Holland in the Golden Age


Drawing the Everyday
Holland in the Golden Age

Accompanying the exhibition “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” (at the Louvre from February 22 to May 22, 2017) and organized in partnership with the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), “Drawing the Everyday” explores the proliferation of everyday motifs in drawings by Golden Age history, genre, landscape, and portrait painters in Holland. These depictions of everyday life contributed to the visual construction and sense of identity of the young Dutch Republic.
The selection of ninety-three works from the public collections in France, by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Goyen, Van Ostade, and Buytewech, shows the great diversity and the codification of subjects portraying daily life in 17th-century Holland (domestic life, small trades, entertainment, military and peasant scenes, etc.). It highlights the complexity of their relationship with reality, between observation and reconstruction, a snapshot-like quality and conventions of representation.

The exhibition revolves around two distinctive worlds:
– City life: The artists culled motifs from their urban environment, sketching quickly on the spot or shortly after observation. Rembrandt was a pioneer of this new practice, drawing people in his entourage, as well as beggars from the streets of Amsterdam. In addition to street scenes, the drawings on display show urban interiors, places of entertainment as well as places of domestic life elevated by the Protestant religion as temples of virtue. On the fringes of this urban world, military life gave rise to specific portrayals that were highly popular.
– Rural life: The city of Haarlem was the heart of the “peasant genre” with Adriaen van Ostade leading the way, followed by his many students. In the work of these talented draftsmen, rural dwellers were reduced to traditional “types”: the peasant, the peddler, the traveling musician, etc. They appeared as uncouth beings, indulging in drink, tobacco, and gambling. The mid-17th century nevertheless marked a turning point in the evocation of peasant mores. Inn scenes became peaceful and joyous, while domestic interiors celebrated the virtuous simplicity of their existence.

Exhibition curators: Emmanuelle Brugerolles, Senior Curator of Drawings, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and Olivia Savatier Sjöholm, Curator, Department of Prints and Drawings, Musée du Louvre.

This exhibition is organized by the Musée du Louvre, in partnership with the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA). 

March 24, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
Presentation of the exhibition
Emmanuelle Brugerolles, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Olivia Savatier-Sjöholm, Musée du Louvre.

Information: +33 (0)1 40 20 55 55, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tickets : In person: Auditorium ticket windows / Telephone: +33 (0)1 40 20 55 00 / Online:

Exhibition catalogue

Drawing the Everyday: Holland in the Golden Age
Edited by Emmanuelle Brugerolles and Olivia Savatier Sjöholm.
Co-published by Musée du Louvre Éditions and Liénart Éditions.
208 pages, 250 illustrations, €29




A season devoted to the Dutch Golden Age at the Musée du Louvre

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting
February 22–May 22, 2017
Hall Napoléon
Through comparisons with the works of other artists of the Golden Age the exhibition brings to light Vermeer’s membership of a network of painters specializing in the depiction of everyday life while admiring, inspiring, and vying with each other. Twelve of the thirty-six masterpieces by Vermeer will be on show on this occasion.

Masterpieces from the Leiden Collection. The Age of Rembrandt
February 22–May 22, 2017
Sully Rooms
To mark Thomas S. Kaplan’s donation to the Louvre of Ferdinand Bol’s painting Eliezer and Rebecca at the Well, the Musée du Louvre is presenting a selection from the Leiden Collection, one of the most comprehensive groupings of Dutch Golden Age pictures in private hands.

Reopening of the galleries devoted to northern European paintings from the 17th  to the 19th century
Level 2, Richelieu wing
After almost one year under renovation, a total of twenty rooms will reopen with a new presentation of some 530 Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck.

Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632). Beyond Caravaggio
February 22–May 22, 2017
Hall Napoléon
Owner of the world’s largest collection of his works, the Louvre, in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is presenting the first monographic exhibition of the most significant representative of the Caravaggesque movement in Europe.