In celebration of the start of summer, the Rijksmuseum has organised the premier exhibition of the 17th-century masterpiece Girl with a Large Hat (1645-50) by Caesar van Everdingen. Acquired more than a year ago with support from the lottery BankGiro Loterij, the painting has since undergone extensive restoration, which has left it more appealing, lustrous and vivid than ever. This masterpiece offers a new take on 17th-century Dutch painting. The painting will be on display in the Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum starting on 21 June 2011.
The painting depicts a young woman wearing an exotic broad-rimmed hat in bright sunlight. She is wearing a white off-the-shoulder dress in satin and is holding up a woven balance of plums in her left hand. In addition to his most prestigious work in the central gallery (Oranjezaal) at Paleis Huis ten Bosch (the official residence of the current Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix), the painter Cesar van Everdingen is also known for a modest body of other pieces.
The Rijksmuseum’s acquisition of the painting at an auction in London last year was made possible by support from the lottery BankGiro Loterij. The painting had been completely unknown until it came up for auction.
'She is now referred to as the 'new hostess' of the Rijksmuseum. Her playful and graceful exuberance sheds an entirely new light on 17th-century Dutch painting, which is known for its characteristic austerity and simplicity. She will be given a prominent position in the New Rijksmuseum, and I am convinced that she will become the favourite of visitors to the Rijksmuseum.'
The painting’s restoration was made possible by the Irma Theodora Fund (Irma Theodora Fonds), which is part of the Rijksmuseum Fund.