Willem Claesz. Heda, Dutch, Still Life with a Gilt Cup, 1635. Oil on panel. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Purchased with the support of the Vereniging Rembrandt and the Rijksmuseum-Stichting, SK-A-4830.
Lecture 4:00pm - 5:30pm
In collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture, the Harvard Art Museums present Art and Thought in the Dutch Republic, a three-part lecture series delivered by Hanneke Grootenboer, professor of art history at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and the 2021 Erasmus Lecturer on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders at Harvard University.
Food for Thought: Still Life as a Mode of Contemplation
In the 17th century, the Dutch Republic was a fast-paced, successful, modern society—economically, politically, and artistically. The work ethic of its citizens amazed foreign visitors, who compared the Dutch to crawling ants. Its flourishing art production showed the bustle of everyday life with almost scientific precision. Yet many artworks amassed by Dutch citizens in their homes portray scenes of silence and serenity. Such works, including genre pieces by Johannes Vermeer and still lifes featuring fruit, nuts or bread by Willem Heda and Adriaen Coorte, suggest a deep engagement with reflection and offer—literally—food for thought.
In this lecture, Professor Grootenboer brings a fresh perspective to Dutch visual culture, demonstrating how art and thought were intertwined and how painting can be a form of thinking—for both 17th- and 21st-century viewers.
Hanneke Grootenboer, Professor of Art History at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and the 2021 Erasmus Lecturer on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders at Harvard University
This talk will take place online via Zoom. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.
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The 2021 Erasmus Lectures are presented at the Harvard Art Museums in collaboration with the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard.
Separate registration is required for each lecture.
The Erasmus Lectureship on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders invites lecturers to spend a semester in any department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The lectureship was endowed in 1967 by donations from individuals and businesses in the Netherlands and from Dutch expatriates in the United States. In 1994, the endowment was enlarged by a donation from the Government of Flanders.