Dollhouse of Sara Rothé
To mark the 25th anniversary of CODART, each month we introduce you to one of the hundred exceptional masterpieces of early modern Dutch and Flemish art (1350-1750) selected by museum curators from around the world for the CODART Canon. This time, all eyes are on The Dollhouse of Sara Ploos van Amstel-Rothé at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem.
Anonymous, The Dollhouse of Sara Ploos van Amstel-Rothé, 1699-1743, cabinet of varnished wood with furnishings of various materials | 227.5 x 173 x 72.5 cm, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem © Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
The twelve rooms in this dollhouse, furnished by Sara Rothé of Amsterdam, provide us with an intimate glimpse into the rich life of the eighteenth century, complete in miniature. Behind the façade of this canal house, each room is decorated according to the fashion of the time. The fact that the designer used several older dollhouses to construct this one should not detract from our admiration.
The Painted Room © Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
As a source for the everyday life of the rich upper class in the eighteenth century, the piece is of inestimable value. For example, it still contains the very fragile textiles, paintings, glittering silver, and porcelain with which it was furnished. We can be sure that this dollhouse was never touched by children’s hands – which is why it has stood the test of time in such exceptionally good condition.
Yuri van der Linden, Curator of the State Collection, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
The Nursery © Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem