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Johannes Vermeer, Girl with the Red Hat, circa 1665-66, oil on panel, 9 1/2 x 7 1/8 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.53.

BIRMINGHAM, AL.- The Birmingham Museum of Art will host an exhibition featuring works of the greatest masters of the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age titled, Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries. The exhibition, which was organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art and is sponsored by PNC, will be on view from January 30 – April 26, 2015.


Rembrandt van Rijn, A Portrait of a Rabbi, circa 1645, oil on panel, 8 3/4 x 7 1/3 in., The Leiden Collection, New York.

Small Treasures brings together 40 small-scale oil paintings, most of which are no more than ten inches in height, by 28 artists who lived and worked in what is today the Netherlands and Belgium during the 17th century. These small paintings played an important part of many artists’ practices but have historically been overlooked by scholars and museum exhibitions. The exhibition will, for the first time, explore this little known field and show the extraordinary richness of this genre of work. More than half of the works in the exhibition are drawn from private collections, some being on public view for the first time.


Adriaen Brouwer, Youth Making a Face, circa 1632-35, oil on oak panel, 5 3/8 x 4 1/8 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington, New Century Fund, 1994.46.1.

During the Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish painting in the 17th century, artists demonstrated more than ever before their love for minute and precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, the incredible technical skills of these masters were highly revered and one can imagine the joy and wonder people felt when examining and exploring these precious gems. I believe modern audiences will be delighted to rediscover the charming details that lie within these works,” says Robert Schindler, Curator of European Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art.


Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, circa 1670–72, oil on canvas, 9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in., The Leiden Collection, New York.

We are so pleased to partner with the North Carolina Museum of Art, whose research and scholarship allows us to bring these marvelous paintings exclusively to the Southeast. To be able to offer, for example, two rare Vermeers, alongside delicate works from Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and many others, is wonderful opportunity for our community. The Small Treasures exhibition will offer our visitors the chance to carefully admire the striking detail work by some of the most highly regarded artists of all time,” says Gail Andrews, R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art.


Gerrit Dou, Self-Portrait, circa 1638–42, oil on panel, 4 7/8 x 3 1/4 in. (rounded top), The Kremer Collection


Rembrandt van Rijn, Bearded Old Man, circa 1630, oil on panel, 7 1/4 x 6 11/16 in., Private Collection.


Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of Nicholas Rockox, 1636, oil on panel, Diam. 6 1/8 in., Private Collection, N.Y.