Room 17

The Collector’s Cabinet

The centrepiece of this room is an idealised view of a 17th-century Flemish collector’s cabinet, depicting connoisseurs inspecting and admiring works of art. In our display, the painting is surrounded by small paintings similar to those included in this imaginary scene.

From the late 16th century, specialist artists in the Northern Netherlands and in Flanders, including Joachim Wtewael and Jan Brueghel the Elder, catered for the demand for small-scale paintings painted with a level of detail that encouraged close looking.

Popular subjects included religious, mythological and historical themes; allegories; church interiors; and scenes of everyday life. Detailed studies of perspective and a lively interest in natural phenomena – including atmospheric effects and all manner of flora and fauna – reflect artists’ fascination with the enormous advancements in science and technology that took place during the period.

Paintings in this room

Bartholomeus van Bassen: 'Interior of St Cunerakerk, Rhenen'
Interior of St Cunerakerk, Rhenen
Bartholomeus van Bassen
A Sea Storm
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Jan Brueghel the Elder: 'The Adoration of the Kings'
The Adoration of the Kings
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Jan the Elder Brueghel, ‘The Garden of Eden’, 1613
The Garden of Eden
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger: 'Croesus and Solon'
Croesus and Solon
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger and Follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger: 'The Interior of a Gothic Church looking East'
The Interior of a Gothic Church looking East
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder
Joachim Wtewael: 'The Judgement of Paris'
The Judgement of Paris
Joachim Wtewael