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Detail of a still life showing a laded table
Dutch Art

The Royal Collection has one of the finest holdings of seventeenth century Dutch paintings in the world


During the seventeenth century, a burgeoning mercantile class eager to display their new-found wealth became a rich source of commissions for portrait painters. Strict Calvinistic principles precluded excessive rhetoric, meaning that, in general, portraiture of the time was characterised by sombre clothing and undemonstrative poses. Even a full-length might be construed as extravagant. The portraits selected here demonstrate a departure from that formulaic norm. It was thought that the inclusion of props, possessions or views of land in the background would demonstrate pride and, as such, there is a certain conventionality about many Dutch portraits.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.