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Editor: Anna Tummers
With text contributions by Mickaël Bouffard-Veilleux, Arjan van Dixhoorn, Jasper Hillegers, Shannon van Muijden, Herman Roodenburg, Thijs Weststeijn, Marieke de Winkel

Celebrating in the Golden Age

Design: Bregt Balk, Illustrated (colour), Paperback, 160 pages, size: 23.5 x 28.5 cm
English edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-835-2, € 33.00
Dutch edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-834-5

In association with the Frans Hals Museum

Exhibition at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem from 11 November 2011 to 6 May 2012

Celebrating in the Golden AgeAfter the highly successful ‘Haarlem: The Cradle of the Golden Age’ exhibition, the Frans Hals Museum is turning its attention to painted festivities from the seventeenth century. Celebrating in the Golden Age is the publication that accompanies the eponymous exhibition, a lavish volume that offers a surprising glimpse of people making merry, seen through the eyes of seventeenth-century Dutch masters. Celebrating in the Golden Age provides the first overview of various seventeenth-century revels in paintings. It acquaints readers with some of the very finest examples and sheds new light on the clothes, the poses and expressions of the figures, the artistic challenges facing the painters and the culture of humour and celebration in the seventeenth century.

In their colourful paintings, artists like Frans Hals, Dirck Hals, Jan Miense Molenaer and Jan Steen depicted all manner of merrymaking people and high-spirited companies, ranging from peasant festivities and carnivals to elaborate al fresco parties, rhetoricians’ processions and civic guard banquets. These festive scenes often have witty yet barbed undertones. They show people laughing infectiously, merry fancy dress parties and elegant manners, but also uninhibited debauchery and comical contrasts between rich and poor. Parties were an exceptionally popular subject in paintings of the Golden Age, a period when more contemporary festivities were depicted than ever before.

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