John Walsh (J. Paul Getty Museum) “Close to Shore: Simon de Vlieger, the Beach, the Fishery, and Divine Factor” (Yale University Art Gallery)

Event time: 
Friday, October 1, 2021 - 12:30pm
Online on Zoom See map
Event description: 
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The Gallery recently acquired a large work by the major Dutch painter of seascapes Simon de Vlieger(ca. 1601–1653), titled Fisherfolk and Other Figures on a Beach (1642). It depicts a view from the beach toward the sea under an atmospheric sky freighted with towering clouds. But what else might the picture offer, beyond its melting beauty and convincing illusion of deep space?

This fall, John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, returns to Yale to examine the picture and what its original audience would have seen in it. Walsh looks back at the tradition of beach views upon which de Vlieger drew and traces the development of atmospheric effects in Dutch painting of the period. He identifies the sailing maneuvers of the boats and the activities of the fishermen and their clients on the shore. Walsh connects references to prosperity that the artist embedded in the composition with the widermaritime commerce of the Dutch and with their concepts of virtue and its reward.

The lecture will be released on YouTube on Wednesday, September 29, at 12:30 pm EDT. On the following Friday, October 1, at 12:30 pm EDT, Walsh will be joined on Zoom by Jessie Park, the Nina and Lee Griggs Assistant Curator of European Art, for a live conversation reflecting on the lecture. Generously sponsored by the Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund.

Free but register in advance