A Picture Gallery

Gillis van Tilborgh1660–1670

Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum of Art

The exact subject of this painting is unclear, although it is evident that it depicts a popular subject in the 17th-century Netherlands: the practice of collecting and discussing art works. Showing works of sculpture, ceramics, music, metalsmithing, and especially painting arranged for conversation, A Picture Gallery may depict an art dealer’s collection, a private collection, or the interior of an artist’s studio. Although it is likely that the man with paints and an easel is an artist, it is not clear if the others are his colleagues, patrons, or representatives. In any event, the painting seems to assert the depicted individuals’ good taste and status in society as patrons of the arts. It could also serve as a record-keeping document of this collection. On the other hand, picture gallery paintings like this one may also have functioned as “business cards” for artists by depicting a variety of paintings and styles within their ability.

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  • Title: A Picture Gallery
  • Creator: Gillis van Tilborgh
  • Date Created: 1660–1670
  • Physical Dimensions: Canvas/Support Dimensions: 97.2 x 129.5 cm, Canvas/Support Dimensions: 38 1/4 x 51 in, Frame Dimensions: 46 1/2 x 59 1/4 x 3 1/2 in
  • Type: paintings
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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