Two 17th-century masters in dialogue and in context
This volume presents the best work of two 17th-century master painters from the Netherlands and Spain, pairing paintings by each while also looking at them in the context of their contemporaries and compatriots, such as Zurbarán, Vermeer, Murillo, Hals, Valdés Leal, Torrentius, Ribera and others. Each pair tells a story or illustrates a theme that unites the two paintings, from concepts such as religion, faith, wealth or love to artistic challenges such as composition, light and shadow.
Rembrandt and Velázquez were the leading artists of their respective countries. Both masters worked in a climate that included many other painters who enjoyed great reputations, such as Zurbarán and Murillo in Spain, and Vermeer and Frans Hals in the Netherlands. Although there was no direct contact between the painters from the North and South, they show clear similarities, not only in artistic ambition, but in the impulse toward realism and their illustration of religious themes.