Masters of the Everyday

Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer

Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Quentin Buvelot

Masters of the Everyday

Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Quentin Buvelot

Distributed for Royal Collection Trust

176 pages | 150 color plates | 11 1/2 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9781909741195 Published December 2015 For Sale in USA and Canada Only
During the seventeenth century, Dutch artists were unparalleled in their dedication to depicting ordinary people doing everyday things. Genre painting was the preeminent expression of this dedication, offering candid glimpses into the peasant cottages and village courtyards of the Dutch Golden Age, each painting lit with the period’s vibrant color palette and rich with radiant natural light.

This superb collection by the curators of an accompanying exhibition focuses on a selection of works of Dutch genre painting from the Royal Collection’s holdings.  Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, and Pieter de Hooch are among the masters whose works are finely reproduced here. While the subject matter may be ordinary—the preparation of food, the bustle of a busy market, the enjoyment of taverns and town festivities—the meticulously documented details often allude to a work's deeper meaning or to moral messages that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer. The book explores these hidden moral messages, as well as the artists' penchant for clever visual puns.

Readers interested in the Dutch Golden Age or seventeenth-century art will welcome this volume. Individual essays on each painting, close-up photography showing important details, and a selection of comparative images add to the book's richness and provide valuable context.
Contents
Foreword

The ‘Broad-Bottomed Dutch School’
Royal Taste and Netherlandish Painting
Desmond Shawe-Taylor

Scenes of Everyday Life?
Some Reflections on Dutch Genre Painting in the Seventeenth Century
Quentin Buvelot

The Paintings
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Review Quotes
Wall Street Journal, on the exhibition
"Vermeer’s reputation is based on about thirty-five paintings, and one of them is at the center of the Royal Collection’s Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer. The seventeenth-century Dutch painter’s delicate scene is complemented by twenty-six works of his contemporaries."
HNA Review of Books, Historians of Netherlandish Art
“Masters of the Everyday is splendid, featur[ing] comprehensive, lavishly illustrated entries on twenty-seven beautiful pictures by some of the most outstanding Dutch masters of the seventeenth century.”
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