Top: Self-portrait, c.1875, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, oil on canvas, 15 3/8 x 12 1/2 inches (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Insitute, Williamstown, Massachusetts); Bottom: Self-portrait, 1887, by Vincent van Gogh, oil on pasteboard, 18 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum; Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Dutch Dialogues

June 3, 2007 - September 3, 2007

Engage in a series of dialogues that highlight Dutch masterpieces as part of “NL: A Season of Dutch Arts in the Berkshires,” a collaboration that showcases the arts and culture of the Netherlands.

The first dialogue will compare works by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh to works in the Clark’s collection. Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait (Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) will be juxtaposed with Self-Portrait by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, underscoring the shared stylistic and psychological relationships between the two artists. Jean-François Millet’s influence on Van Gogh can be seen in the comparison of Millet’s pastel The Sower and Van Gogh’s Sower (after Millet) (Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam).

The second dialogue will feature Chlamydia (Williams College Museum of Art), a reinterpretation of Edouard Manet’s famous Olympia, by contemporary Dutch artist Robert Scholte. Scholte’s large expanse of jet-black canvas will provide shocking contrast among the Clark’s collection of Impressionist paintings. The title of Scholte’s painting, the name of a sexually transmitted disease, recalls the shock value Manet’s Olympia had when originally exhibited, reminding us that the subject matter and style of the Impressionists frequently challenged traditional notions of what was “proper” for art.

A final dialogue reunites husband and wife portraits by Frans Hals. Portrait of Pieter Jacobsz. Olycan (The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida) joins Maritge Vooght Claesdr., Wife of Pieter Jacobsz. Olycan, Mayor of Haarlem (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). Originally painted as a pair, the duo has been separated for nearly two centuries.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with “NL: A Season of Dutch Arts in the Berkshires” and received initial funding from the Netherlands Culture Fund.

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