On the 17th of October a new exhibition started at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The exhibition, ‘Asia > Amsterdam. Luxury in the Dutch Golden Age’, shows 170 treasures from Japan, India, China and Batavia. All these items were shipped during the seventeenth century by the Dutch to Holland, including ivory, jewellery, porcelain, ebony, silk, silver and lacquer work. Amsterdam was at that time the ‘capital of the world’ and her citizens were all too fond of luxury goods no one had ever seen before.
In one of our recent posts we showed the influence the Chinese had on the motifs that were used on Dutch Delft tiles. The porcelain that was made during the reign of the Chinese emperor Wanli (Ming-Dynasty), strongly influenced the Dutch craftsmen and painters that were working on the tiles and pottery we know nowadays as Delftware. These influences were part of something much bigger as precious materials adorned with intriguing exotic patterns flooded the houses of the rich. The Asian treasures caused a sensation in Holland and specifically in Amsterdam. Their colours and richness aroused the curiosity and stimulated the imagination of the Dutch in a remarkable way.
With this exhibition in The Rijksmuseum visitors get the chance to travel 400 years back in time and experience the influences of overseas exotic and unknown worlds in a similar way their ancestors did.
Asia > Amsterdam
Luxury in the Golden Age
17 October 2015-17 January 2016
The exhibition Asia > Amsterdam will be on view in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, US from February 27 till June 4, 2016.