Gerrit Dou, An Old Scholar Sharpening a Quill Pen (detail), ca. 1630-35. The Leiden Collection, New York

LEIDEN - Over the past ten years, the successful American businessman Tom Kaplan has acquired a tremendous collection, consisting primarily of works by the celebrated Leiden Fijnschilders (Fine Painters) of the 17th century. The Leiden Collection includes 13 paintings by Rembrandt’s first apprentice Gerrit (Gerard) Dou, whose work consists mainly of portraits and genre paintings executed in the minutely detailed style of Fijnschilders. Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York represents an unprecedented event, bringing the world’s largest collection of works by Dou to the Netherlands and putting the Leiden Collection on public display in its entirety for the first time.

Gerrit Dou was one of the leading artists of his era. Following an apprenticeship with Rembrandt, his delicately painted masterpieces made him one of the most renowned painters of the Dutch Republic.  Today, Dou’s paintings are present in all major art museums throughout the world. Already during his lifetime, his work was avidly collected by royal collectors, including Queen Christina of Sweden and Grand Duke Cosimo III of Tuscany (who even came to Leiden to visit Dou at his home).

The Leiden Collection comprises both early and late works by Dou. Recent technical research has shed new light on works by this master of the Dutch Golden Age, and the results of this research will be displayed as part of the exhibition. In May 2014, the Leiden Collection will release the full results of this project on a new website, which will also provide the public with online access to the collection.

The exhibition Gerrit Dou. The Leiden Collection from New York represents a homecoming for the works painted by the artist in Leiden during the Dutch Golden Age. The exhibition offers a perfect complement to the Museum De Lakenhal’s permanent collection, which comprises numerous works by Dou’s celebrated contemporaries, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Lievens, Jan Steen, Jan van Goyen and Gabriel Metsu. 

11 March – 31 August 2014