Ah, the Dutch Masters — before you run the other way, perhaps fatigued by the seemingly omnipresent exhibits of Dutch works — hear me out.
There's a reason we have somewhat of an obsession with Dutch artworks — their attention to detail is truly incredible.
Even in a seemingly simple landscape your eye is drawn in by the depth of the scene.
While walking through the current MET exhibit, I came to the realization that a Dutch exhibit could feature only three paintings and it would still be a showstopper.
You can't walk by these paintings quickly, they are filled with so many items, perspectives, themes, and details that they charm you into staring at them for more than a minute!
My favorite piece in the show was Allegory of the Catholic Faith by Johannes Vermeer, painted in 1672.
I found myself stuck in front of this painting mostly due to the family beside me who struck up an animated conversation about it — their ten year old equally as interested as grandma!
Pointing out features, asking each other questions, and posing theories — it was like I was standing with fellow classmates in an art history class.
And perhaps this is why Dutch paintings are so successful, they require conversation.
Each character in a scene exudes natural human psyche and emotion, and each painter sets up the angles perfectly for us as the viewer to feel like we're a part of the moment — invited or unbeknownst to the figures.
They provide us with infinite story options for how the scene came to be, and these paintings entice the viewer to discuss what's really going on.
Do you think one could argue Dutch paintings are interactive art?