During the 17th century, Dutch art flourished to such a degree that this
epoch is termed the Golden Age. Interest
in the representation of one's own region, in the nature and properties of
things, was closely linked with new scientific insights. Optical experiments were carried out, and
active exchange of ideas between artists and scholars was a matter of course.
Secularisation and artists' specialism led to the separation of non-religious
subjects such as still life, land- and seascape and genre scene. The painting
of the great Dutch masters is an outstanding section in the collection of the