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Double Dutch Still Life Painting
The Secret Language of of Dutch Still Life

11th October 2022
Presented by Lynne Gibson

Synopsis

Merchants of the Dutch Golden Age filled their town houses with paintings. But these upright Calvinist citizens rejected biblical subjects and Baroque melodrama.

Favourite themes were found closer to home. Still Lifes reflect the prosperity and self-esteem of the new Republic. The detailed realism of these paintings is compelling but is there more to Dutch art than meets the eye?

Banketje (banquets) and ontbijtjes (breakfasts) celebrate an abundance of foodstuffs. Could the curl of lemon peel, platter of oysters, kraakware bowl of blemished fruit or spiced meat pie warn of the dangers of gluttony and pleasures of the flesh?

Vanitas, ‘pronkstilleven’ and ‘blompots’ display treasured possessions. If we look closely, however, the pocket-watch, fading bloom or, more explicitly, human skull, might hint that consciences are troubled by such ostentation.

Join me to explore the secret symbolic language of Still Life paintings and become a fluent reader of ‘Double Dutch’!

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Profile – Lynne Gibson

Now working as a freelance lecturer in the History of Art, Lynne originally trained as a fine artist and has taught painting, drawing and printmaking in higher and adult education. She lectured as an art historian for the universities of Sussex and Bristol where she introduced 'Understanding Art' to the Lifelong Learning programme and residential summer schools. Gives talks, lectures and guided tours to a wide range of organisations and institutions including ARCA colleges, the National Trust, National Gallery, art museums and art societies. She has worked as a professional artist specializing in oil painting and etching. Solo and group shows have included the RWA, British Museum and the Barbican.