Fantasy sea creatures, creepy monsters and freakish body shapes reminiscent of dripping candle wax. That’s the auricular style: the most important and most sensational contribution that the Netherlands has made to the development of interior art in Europe. Silverware, furniture and picture frames with these seemingly just-solidified shapes, adorned the chicest interiors of the 17th-century elite. The Dutch artists of this style enjoyed unprecedented status in their time and established the trend in England, Germany and France. They were mutual friends and could compete with Rembrandt, who even portrayed the auricular style in his paintings. The Rijksmuseum highlights this ‘Dutch Design’ in more than one hundred works of art from the Golden Age.
(Photo: Carola van Wijk, Rijksmuseum)