Dutch, Flemish paintings grace Legion of Honor exhibit

In a gallery of maritime paintings at the Legion of Honor, individual 17th-century works — views of glassy, glowing surfaces of the sea, bright billowing clouds and huge sails soaring to the sky — seem to come from the same eyes and hands. It is possible to get lost in these kindred but varied images.

Yet other galleries feature still lifes, landscapes, history paintings and depictions of everyday life in the 1600s.

On view through Oct. 2, the exhibition “Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk Van Otterloo Collection” showcases the era when the Dutch Republic (present-day Holland and the Flemish parts of Belgium) had its Golden Age (“Gouden Eeuw” in Dutch).

At the time, the country was developing world-class trade, science, military and art, while shaking off Spain’s rule in a century of war, culminating in independence through the 1648 Peace of Westphalia treaty.

Coincidentally with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde,” where collectors have unusual prominence, the Legion exhibit also highlights the source of the artworks.

All 70 masterpieces of the exhibit come from a private collection, the best of its kind in the world, by Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo.

Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., organized the exhibit from the rare collection of artwork in superb condition and impeccable provenance.

Eijk van Otterloo was born in the Netherlands and Rose-Marie in Belgium. They met and married in the U.S., where they have close ties with New England. They have been sharing their collection, lending works from it to institutions around the globe.

San Francisco curator Lynn Federle Orr says in these paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, “We sense the achievements of a cohesive society, the benefits of honest labor, the warmth of a spare but comfortable home, the quiet beauty of a productive landscape. And occasionally we see ourselves (and our foibles) in the delightful antics depicted in Dutch genre scenes.”

Along with well-known masters such as Rembrandt (represented by “Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh”), Frans Hals and Brueghel the Elder, the exhibition also features superb paintings by artists less known in the U.S.: Gerrit Dou, Jan Steen, Willem van de Velde.

Hendrick Avercamp specialized in paintings of frozen Northern Europe during the period’s “Little Ice Age.” Rembrandt pupil Nicolaes Maes is represented by his “Sleeping Man Having His Pockets Picked.”

Aelbert Cuyp’s “Orpheus Charming the Animals” is a fine example of illustrating ancient Greek myths.

Discovery and exploration of these “new” 3-century-old greats is a special attraction of the exhibit.

IF YOU GO

Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection

Where: California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 100 34th Ave., San Francisco

When: 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Tuesdays-Sundays, closed Mondays; closes Oct. 2

Tickets: $11 to $15

Contact: (415) 750-3600, www.legionofhonor.famsf.org

Art & MuseumsartsentertainmentFine ArtsLegion of Honor

Just Posted

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
$1.4 trillion ‘blueprint’ would address Bay Area’s housing, transit woes

Analyzing the big ticket proposals in ‘Plan Bay Area 2050’

A felled tree in San Francisco is pictured on Fillmore Street following a major storm that produced high winds and heavy rains on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philip Ford)
Storm updates: Sunday was wettest October day in San Francisco history

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

While Kaiser Permanente patients seeking mental health care will get a 30-minute phone assessment within days, in many cases, they cannot get actual treatment for months. (Shutterstock)
City employees face months-long wait time for mental health care

‘We are in the midst of a mental health crisis’

Klay Thompson, left, and his boat dealer Kenyon Martin take on his test drive on the NBA star’s 37-foot vessel; injury woes sent Thompson, the Golden State guard, looking for solace. He found it on the water. (Courtesy Anthony Nuccio via New York Times)
Warriors star finds love with his fishing boat

Being on the water is a ‘safe space’ for Klay Thompson

Most Read