The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston has opened seven recently renovated galleries, each exploring the visual culture of the Dutch Republic and Flanders during the 17th century.

The new galleries collectively showcase almost 100 paintings by some of the most iconic Dutch and Flemish artists, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Gerrit Dou, Frans Hals and Anthony van Dyck.

The new installations explore a number of themes, ranging from women’s patrons and artists to the growth of the art industry and the connection between slavery, the sugar trade and still life paintings.

Much of the work on display is drawn from a gift to the museum in 2017 from Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie in 2017. The donation enhanced the MFA’s status of its representation of Flemish works during the 17th century.

The donation from the Van Otterloo and Weatherbie families also comprised of endowment funds to establish the Centre for Netherlandish Art (CNA).

The CNA is a research centre aimed at promoting the study and appreciation of Dutch and Flemish art by stimulating interdisciplinary research and object-based learning. It will also be centred on nurturing future generations of scholars and curators through a residency fellowship program and hosting academic and public programs.