Exhibition The World of Alida Withoos

Published on
March 24, 2009

Exhibition from 10 November 2009 until 20 March 2010.

This fall the Wageningen UR Library's exhibition complements a number of chapters from the Canon of Dutch History: Country houses, the Dutch East India Company(VOC) and Amsterdam's ring of canals. Pivotal in the exhibition is Alida Withoos (ca. 1661-1730). She was trained as a still-life painter and botanical illustrator by her father, the Amersfoort artist Matthias Withoos.

Traders in the Golden Age were in the grip of a true collecting fever caused by the new discoveries that the VOC ships were importing from unknown parts of the world. Proud of their collections and especially their skill to cultivate exotic plants, they had everything recorded by artists such as Maria Sybilla Merian, Johannes Bronckhorst, Alida Withoos and her brother Pieter. Through the eyes of these artists, we see the world of the wealthy burghers in their distinguished country houses with elegant gardens and beautiful collections. Through Alida Withoos, you become acquainted with the Republic's 'hot spots' in the Golden Age: the country estates, Vijverhof from Agnes Block and Petersburg on the Vecht, and Amsterdam's Hortus Medicus, which had just been established.

The exhibition can be viewed from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm in the Wageningen UR Library's Special Collections in the Forum building in Wageningen. A special opening with lectures will be held on Tuesday, 10 November, from 8 – 9 pm with, among others, Rosita Steenbeek, author of the novel Ander Licht (Other Light). The evening's attendees may also view the exhibition from 7- 10 pm and  receive an explanation on its contents. 

Questions? Or would you like a special group tour? Please contact Liesbeth Missel, curator, at 0317-484546.

    (newsletter 6-2009)