A wealth of masterpieces by Dutch painters including Rembrandt have arrived in Barnsley.
‘A Dutch Golden Age’, a new exhibition of ‘Old Masters’ by world-class Dutch painters, opened at Cannon Hall Museum in Cawthorne near Barnsley on Saturday 16 June.
It is the first time the museum has loaned paintings from the National Gallery, London, including two special works by Rembrandt and Jan Steen.
‘A Dutch Golden Age’ has been funded through a grant from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund – a scheme created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund to directly fund and empower regional and smaller local authority museums to borrow major works or collections of art from the UK’s national museums and galleries.
Paintings from the York Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield also form part of the exhibition, alongside pieces collected by wealthy industrialist William Harvey, whose generosity helped Barnsley build up a collection of world-renowned art from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The exhibition provides an opportunity to learn more about the history of the ‘Dutch Masters’ in Barnsley. Paintings from that period in the exhibition include portraits, seascapes, Italianate landscapes and still lifes.
A programme of tours, talks and workshops at Cannon Hall Museum will be open to the public to learn more about the exhibition which is open until Sunday 16 September.
Families can celebrate a season of Dutch painters during the summer holidays. Activities include ‘Louise and the Giant Lobster’ on Saturday 4 and Monday 6 August, where Barnsley artist Louise Wright will work with families to create a large-scale picture of a lobster inspired by the Dutch painting, ‘Fruit and Lobster’ by Jacob Marrel.
A study day on Saturday 14 July will allow participants to take an in-depth look at the paintings, artists, research and conservation work which has formed the exhibition. Tickets for the study day cost £25 through Eventbrite.
Natalie Murray, Collections and Exhibitions Manager for Barnsley Museums and curator of the exhibition, said: “The Dutch Golden Age is a really fascinating period in art history and we are delighted that people will have a chance to see these amazing paintings right here in South Yorkshire. The quality of the Dutch paintings in this exhibition is outstanding and it’s exciting to see a collection of Dutch Masters like these together outside of London.”
Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place at Barnsley Council, said: “Not only will people in Barnsley be able to come and view the work of artists such as Rembrandt, but they can also join one of our talks, tours or workshops to learn more about the artists, their subjects and the times in which they lived.
“We are certain people will travel from across the country to view the exhibition in the beautiful surroundings of Cannon Hall.”
Funding for painting and framing conservation for the exhibition was secured by Barnsley Museums & Heritage Trust through the Woodmansterne Art Conservation Fund and the Idlewild Trust, and from donations from the public and the Trust’s corporate partners.
The exhibition is free with donations welcome. For more information about ‘A Dutch Golden Age’ at Cannon Hall Museum visit www.cannon-hall.com