Art and Competition in the Dutch Golden Age: Erasmus Lectures on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders—Part 2.
Lecture Title: Artistic Competition and Creative Imitation: Gerard ter Borch, Frans van Mieris, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, and Johannes Vermeer.
Beginning in about the mid-17th century, the most ambitious and talented Dutch painters turned to depicting scenes of beautifully dressed young women and men in luxurious interiors. These works share striking similarities in subject matter and composition, which suggests that these artists knew each other’s work well. In this lecture, Eric Jan Sluijter, professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam and the 2019 Erasmus Lecturer in Harvard’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, demonstrates that these painters, with a small group of discerning connoisseurs in mind, achieved their breathtaking level of quality by keeping a close eye on each other’s innovations and by competing with one another through creative imitation.
The three-part 2019 Erasmus Lectures were presented at the Harvard Art Museums in collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard. The Erasmus Lectureship on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders invites lecturers to spend a semester in any department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The lectureship was endowed in 1967 by donations from individuals and businesses in the Netherlands and from Dutch expatriates in the United States. In 1994, the endowment was enlarged by a donation from the Government of Flanders.
Friday, March 1, 2019, Menschel Hall, Harvard Art Museums.