Dulwich Picture Gallery’s latest exhibit: Adriaen van de Velde

The Dulwich Picture Gallery hosts the very first exhibition dedicated to Dutch painter, Adriaen van de Velde, which will be on display until 15 Jan 2017.

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Adriaen van de Velde, The beach at Scheveningen, 1658, Oil on canvas, 52.6 x 73.8 cm, © Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.

The exhibit, Adriaen van de Velde: Dutch Master of Landscape, showcases 60 works by the artist, including landscape paintings as well as a illustrative collection of preparatory studies. He is thought to be one of the greatest landscape artists of the Dutch Golden Age. The works are on loan from various museums such as the National Gallery in London, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Louvre in Paris.Oil paintings make up the majority of this collection, but van de Velde also used other mediums such as watercolour, ink, and chalk.

In displaying a collection of his art in one cohesive exhibit, we are able to better understand the artist and his works as a whole rather than as individual pieces. The exhibit allows us to gain an insight into van de Velde’s mind that has never been seen before.

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Adriaen van de Velde, Two studies of a reclining shepherd, 1666-1671, red chalk over a sketch in black chalk, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Purchased with the support of the Vereeniging Rembrandt

Perhaps the most striking facet of this exhibition is the detailed look we are given of the creative process of the artist. His extreme meticulousness is evident from the numerous sketches and studies that precede the final product. It was not uncommon for van de Velde to do several studies of a figure before placing the figure into a sketch that would form the basis for his completed piece. He often created more than one sketch as drafts of his finished work, and some of these drawings are so intricate that they can stand on their own as artworks.

It is evident that careful planning went into van de Velde’s paintings, but that is not to say that he was rigid in his execution. In comparing his studies and sketches, we are able to see the modifications that he made along the various stages of his creative process. What’s interesting about this is that we can follow the artist’s procedure step by step, which is certainly not something that can be said of many artists.

ADDRESS: Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD


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