Our NAROMA Art Club went to visit a museum last weekend to take a look at a collection of Dutch landscape paintings.
I had visited this museum last year and now managed to persuade our members to come and take a closer look. My friends were impressed by the quality of the works on display. They also noticed the significant stages of development in the landscape paintings of the 16th through to the 21st centuries.
Considering that the Calvinist Netherlands would perhaps have abandoned religious symbols in their paintings after the reformation it was interesting to see that the old masters had not turned to landscapes and still lifes to survive but had also hidden religious symbols in their work.
Today we know that during the 16th and 17th centuries Dutch Catholics were able to erect rooms dedicated to Christian worship in their homes which would be decorated with those paintings. Research has shown that when the religious context was too obvious they often hid those paintings behind curtains from the eyes of visitors.