Major retrospective

As a student of Rembrandt, Nicolaes Maes followed in his teacher’s footsteps painting biblical scenes in an original way while also showing the influence that Rembrandt had on him. Rembrandt was dedicated to teaching and was always challenging his students to be inventive and shine new light on their work.

Maes’s style of portraiture was elegant and favoured by clients in Dordrecht and Amsterdam. As he developed he began to paint intimate domestic scenes, which usually featured women engaged in household chores, and were known for their likelike representation of emotion. These original depictions of everyday life were innovative and provided inspiration for painters such as Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer. His scenes often include humour, as is the case with The eavesdropper. In it the lady of the house beckons the viewer to be silent while in the background her maid is caught with her lover. It’s sweet.

Maes was a successful portrait painter as evidenced in paintings of his clients, many dressed in luxurious outfits or fancy costumes in settings befitting their wealth.

This retrospective is your chance to see Maes’s work including pieces on loan from the Dordrechts Museum, and the Guildhall Art Gallery and the Wellington Museum in London.