The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
With few exceptions, in no other place and at no other time has there
been such a concentration of artistic talent as in the tiny, fledgling 17th-century
Republic of the United Netherlands. Lying almost exclusively in the western
part of the country were at least 10 cities that, although geographically
close, each had its own, artistically distinctive style as well as its own
famous sons and daughters. Among the cities were Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem,
Leiden, Dordrecht, Deventer, Delft, Gouda, The Hague, and Middelburg. And
although such names as Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, Steen, de Hooch, ter Borch,
Metsu and Dou, Hobbema, Cuyp, van Ruisdael and van Kessel, Leyster and Ruysch
may be familiar, they are only the beginning of a long list: the vast number
of the artists who lived in that Golden Age are known only to specialists.
Their names and their reputations have been eclipsed by the sheer brilliance
of the period, their work often lost to misattributions to other, more well-known,
artists. Not surprisingly, misattributions were common, so common that art
historians of the 21st century are still sorting them out. Rembrandt attributions
alone could occupy a scholar for a lifetime.
Southgate MT. A Boy Eating Porridge. JAMA. 2001;285(7):850. doi:10.1001/jama.285.7.850