“BLOOMING LIGHT, SOAKING LIGHT”: the Masterpieces from the Netherlands

In the ocassion of the 50th anniversary of the Netherlands - Vietnam diplomatic relations, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Hanoi and Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum co-organise the exhibition “Blooming Light, Soaking Light” – introducing the masterpieces of Dutch artists from the Golden Age to the end of the 19th century. The works presented are curated by art researcher Đỗ Tường Linh from the collection of Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands. 

Image: ©Embassy in Hanoi

Inspired by the poem “We Silver Beings, Misty Light, Plants Growing” by the famous Dutch poet Herman Gorter, the exhibition “Blooming Light, Soaking Light” explores and rediscovers different notions of “light” through the works of art by Dutch master painters. The exhibition explores “light” from the symbolic, metaphorical, as well as technical perspective. Examining nearly 70 pieces under 5 main themes: Landscape, Still Life, Portrait, Genre Art and Spiritual Realm, “Blooming Light, Soaking Light” recreates and interprets light in Dutch art history and reveals how it reflects the changes in the human perception of reality and the metaphysical world. 

The exhibition is also an opportunity for the public to enjoy classic works from the Dutch Golden Age – the period from the end of the 16th century to the 17th century, during which trade, science and arts from the Netherlands became one of the world’s exemplary. From Cornelis van Haarlem and Frans Hals, who are the masters of portraiture in all of Europe, to female painters, such as Judith Leyster and Marie Wandscheer, with their unique still lifes, to the figures that brought Dutch art around the world via trade routes such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer. Employing a hybrid format, with the combination of fine printing on silk and digital projection, the Exhibition will bring audiences an opportunity to better understand the Dutch cultural identities, lifestyle and beliefs. 

Speaking at the opening, Ambassador Kees van Baar shared: “The works you will see here in this Exhibition are some of the best of what Dutch fine arts has to offer. And I am very happy that you will get to experience this unique hybrid exhibition for yourselves tonight. Art has the ability to connect us and bring us together. And that is exactly what the celebration of 50 years of bilateral relations between Viet Nam and the Netherlands this year is all about.

Curator Do Tuong Linh shared: “The Dutch masters did not simply portray and represent their own realities, but also embody philosophy, contemplation and a witty spirit throughout their works. And what's even more special is that they use their masterful technique of recreating light and darkness to tell these stories.


The exhibition “Blooming Light, Soaking Light” is open from 18:00 on 26 May 2023 until 11 June 2023 at 1F, B Building, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, No. 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

During the exhibition, the Netherlands Embassy and the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum collaborate to host music performances of Dutch classical composers and an Art Talk to offer the audience a fulfilling artistic experience. For more information, visit the Netherlands Embassy’s Facebook Page at: www.facebook.com/HollandinVietnam 


The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands, telling the story of 800 years of Dutch history, from 1200 to now. At the Rijksmuseum, art and history take on new meaning for a broad-based, contemporary national and international audience. As a national institute, the Rijksmuseum offers a representative overview of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages onwards, and of major aspects of European and Asian art. More info: www.rijksmuseum.nl