Author(s): George S. Keyes (Editor)
The Dutch of the seventeenth century were the first Europeans to specialize in marine art, and the achievements of the celebrated Dutch masters attest to the vitality and enduring appeal of Dutch marine art. Mirror of Empire is a catalogue that accompanies a traveling exhibition sponsored by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It is the first survey in English of Dutch marine art of the seventeenth century and includes many of the works of both Willem Van de Velde the Elder and Willem Van de Velde the Younger. The catalogue focuses on paintings, drawings, prints, sea charts and related cartographical material, while stressing the relationships among marine art and Dutch history, commerce and the tremendous significance of Dutch ship design. Mirror of Empire provides biographies of Dutch marine artists and contributors' essays on related topics that help explain the works of art within the larger historical context of their time period. These topics include the Dutch trade routes that assured the Dutch Republic its preeminent position in seventeenth century Europe, the design and function of Dutch ships, the iconography of Dutch marine paintings as found in Dutch genre pictures of the period, and the importance of Dutch cartography to Western civilization. The "Mirror of Empire" exhibition will open at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts on September 23 and run through December 31, 1990. It will then travel to The Toledo Museum of Art from January 27-April 21, 1991 and to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from May 23-August 11, 1991. George Keyes is Curator at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He is the author of three books on individual seventeenth century Dutch artists.