Talks, Discussion Panel & Reception

FROM AMSTERDAM TO LONDON: Cultural Currents in the Age of Gibbons

In this grand finale event for GG300, join us as our panel of three leading Dutch art-historians pay tribute to Rotterdam-born Grinling Gibbons’ roots in this masterclass exploring the Netherlandish artistic and cultural currents that flowed to Baroque England through Gibbons and his Anglo-Dutch artist contemporaries alike.

This panel-discussion event features presentations by Frits Scholten (Head of Department of Sculpture, The Rijksmuseum) who will explore Grinling Gibbons’s artistic roots in the rich seventeenth-century sculptural context of the Low Countries, focussing on the tradition of small-scale sculpture in wood and suggesting a few alternative scenarios for his training as a virtuoso wood carver.

Justine Rinnooy Kan (Dorset Curatorial Fellow 1600-1800, National Gallery, London) will turn to Dutch Still Lifes of the Golden Age, their cross-over influences on sculpture and carving and the Baroque passion for deception through trompe l’oeil.

Sander Karst (Lecturer in Art History, University of Amsterdam) will consider the effect of changing migration polices and the upsurge in Dutch artists to seventeenth-century England, the transfer of knowledge that this brought and the burgeoning artistic circles in which they and Gibbons lived and mixed in Baroque London.

Our three experts will then come together in discussion to consider the impact of Gibbons’ formative years in Netherlands, the potency of Dutch cultural influences on the work of Gibbons and his contemporary artists and carvers in England and the far-reaching importance of the Anglo-Dutch cultural exchange of this period.

The panel-discussion will be followed by a special Wine Reception as we celebrate the culmination of Grinling Gibbons 300 and the work of the Grinling Gibbons Society.

This event is being held at the Carpenters’ Company Livery Hall.

This event is in conjunction with and generously supported by the Dutch Embassy. It will include an Introduction from the Dutch Ambassador. It is also being made possible through the generous support of the Carpenters’ Company.

Proceeds from this event will go towards the Grinling Gibbons Online project and supporting the development of Grinling Gibbons online resources into the future.

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Frits Scholten, Head of Department of Sculpture and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, is a Dutch art historian specialising in art of the Netherlands from the late Middle Ages until 1800, and sculpture from the 15th to 19th centuries. Previously he was senior curator of sculpture at the Rijksmuseum from 1993, prior to which he worked at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Scholten has published extensively on applied arts and European sculpture. He is editor of the Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum Jahrbuch.

Justine Rinnooy Kan is the Dorset Curatorial Fellow 1600-1800 at the National Gallery in London. She specialises in Old Master painting, with a strong interest in Dutch 17th-century art. Before joining the National gallery, she was Junior Curator of 16th- and 17th-century Dutch painting at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a Graduate Curatorial Intern at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and a researcher for the Alte Pinakothek Munich, the Fondation Custodia in Paris and the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

Sander Karst works as a lecturer in the art history department of the University of Amsterdam. He studied art history at Utrecht University. As part of his research master in Utrecht, he did an internship with the Curatorial Department of Tate Britain. During his stay in London, he became interested in the early modern London art world and the many Dutch artists who migrated to Britain in the seventeenth century. After graduating, he received funding from NWO (the Dutch Research Council) for his PhD project The Impact of Dutch 17th-Century Painting on the British Art World, which he completed in 2021. The central aim of his project was to show how, through the migration of artists and the presence of many Dutch artists in London, Dutch painting contributed to the rise of the British School of Painting during the long eighteenth century.

Nynke van der Ven is a Dutch-born art historian and director of Vanderven Oriental Art. She studied in England, before going on to graduate in History of Art at Leiden University with a master’s thesis on early interiors. In 2005 Nynke joined Vanderven (a ‘s-Hertogenbosch-based company specialising in Chinese art), and from 2012 re-focused her work on the academic aspects of the business, researching and writing scholarly catalogues, as well regularly pursuing various diploma courses (SOAS / V&A / Attingham Trust). She is on the board of the Dutch Antique Dealers Association (KVHOK) and is on a mission to reignite a love of antique objects amongst the younger generations, as well as promoting the use of real antiques in our interiors. She is currently working on a PhD proposal around early-eighteenth-century trade in Chinese porcelain in Amsterdam.