Served! Eating Culture as Reflected in Dutch Art
Parallel to the special exhibition Family Businesses as a Phenomenon, the cabinet exhibition (28 September 2016 – 15 January 2017) is dedicated to the topic of ‘eating and cooking’. In it, that very central, everyday event – shared meals together – is at the centre of the presentation, which also approaches the topic from the perspective of cultural history. In addition to two extremely rare, very valuable ‘kitchen books’ from the 17th century, which illustrate the beginnings of ‘normal’ cookbooks for day-to-day use, the exhibition also presents the hand-written collection of recipes of Maria Sophia Brenninkmeijer, the wife of the C&A company founder August, from the 19th century, as well as instructions for good housekeeping from the early 18th century.
Dutch paintings and printed works of the Golden Age also offer insights into the rural family life and the preparation and course of shared meals at that time. In them, the circle of individuals belonging to the family is different from today, but servants and parts of the village community have nevertheless long since been part of it. The genre depictions by Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan van de Velde the Elder, Adriaen van Ostade, Cornelis Dusart, and Jan Miense Molenaer are supplemented in terms of content with two Last Supper scenes by the Dutch artists Hendrick Goltzius and Lucas van Leyden.
Adriaen van Ostade, Herberg met vijf figuren, 17th Century
Adriaen van Ostade, Saying Grace, 1653
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, The Pancake Woman, 1635
Antonius Magirus, Cookbook: „Koocboec oft familieren keukenboec“, 1612