Willem van Aelst, Hunt Still Life with a Velvet Bag on a Marble Ledge

Willem van AelstHunt Still Life with a Velvet Bag on a Marble Ledge
c. 1665
Oil on canvas, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston.

The still-life paintings of Willem van Aelst at the MFAH

The first-ever monographic exhibition of Dutch still-life painter Willem van Aelst (1627–1683) premieres at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), from March 11 to May 28, 2012.

Source: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

"Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst" includes 28 of the artist’s finest works coming from private and public collections in the United States and Europe. While van Aelst was recognized as one of the most important painters in the Dutch Republic during the “Golden Age” of Dutch painting, he was almost forgotten by the 19th century. The exhibition at the MFAH aims to restore Van Aelst’s stature.

Van Aelst’s luxuriant compositions, rich in detail, bring to life the elegant tabletop settings of the 17th century", said James Clifton, Director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation and Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Painting at the MFAH.

The paintings in the exhibition cover the range of the artist’s career. The 28 works come from collections including the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation (permanently on view at the MFAH) and the National Gallery of Art. Five paintings are on loan from the Galleria Palatina at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, which holds the largest concentration of Van Aelst’s work since it was collected extensively by the Medici court and later transferred to state collections. Others works have been lent by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge; Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna; Mauritshuis in The Hague; and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

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