Joys of Life. The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Painting

May 22 – August 30, 2009


Estonian and Finnish joint exhibition “Joys of Life. The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Painting” at the Kadriorg Art Museum


The display exhibits a spectacular selection of the Dutch and Flemish paintings held in the collections of the Kadriorg Art Museum and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki. The selection displays the pride of the foreign art collections of Estonia and Finland. It is the first time the old and treasured masterpieces from the two museums will decorate the walls of a joint exhibition. The exhibition, mixing the works of the two museums, avoids rigid divisions according to genre, nationality, topics or schools of art. Instead, it encourages the viewer to take enjoyable excursions to the glorious time of Dutch and Flemish painting and pleases the eye with works by artists who have long been inscribed in art history, as well as those who are yet to be (re)discovered.


Among other masterpieces, the public can see the internationally most well-known work in the Finnish collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, “Woman Drinking Wine” (c. 1665) by Gerard ter Borch, as well as the imposing, life-size family portrait of a wealthy merchant by Nicolaes van Helt Stockade (1614–1669). In the exhibition halls specially adapted for exhibiting old art, two unique still-lifes, “Wedding at Cana” (c. 1600) from the workshop of Maerten de Vos and “The Expulsion of Traders from the Temple” (1580) by an unknown artist from the circle of Hieronymus Bosch, which belong to the Kadriorg Art Museum collection, are given new expression.


The exhibition will be open until 30 August 2009.

The curator of the exhibition “Joys of Life” is Greta Koppel, and the designers are Mari Kurismaa and Mari Kaljuste.


The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment and Saku Brewery.

Finnish visitors can get acquainted with the best of the Dutch and Flemish paintings in the Kadriorg Art Museum collection beginning 11 September at the exhibition “Alehouses and Entertainment for the Masses. The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Art” in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum (11 September – 31 December 2009), which tells yet another story of the works in the two collections.


The research on the Dutch and Flemish art in the Kadriorg Art Museum is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands