The Dutch Golden Age was a period in which people conveyed their status through houses, clothing and art. Wealthy families sat for their portraits in their most beautiful suits of clothes, surrounded by their most prized possessions. Delft Blue pottery, which was iconic for this period, also often featured in these portraits. In the exhibition ‘Glorious Delft Blue’ (18 January - 30 September), Royal Delft presents the glory of Delft Blue of this period in all its splendour.

How it all began…

Four hundred years ago, the first VOC ships, laden with blue-white porcelain, returned from the Far East. This porcelain became immensely popular among well-to-do families and the European aristocracy. When the import of Chinese porcelain came under pressure owing to civil wars in China, Dutch entrepreneurs seized the opportunity and developed their own version. This was the birth of Delft Blue.

Nederlandse VOC schip op zee met nog meer schepen op de achtergrond
  • Delfts Blauw jurk op de catwalk gemaakt door Tess van Zalinge
  • Schilderij van een vrouw met Delfts Blauw op haar rug
  • Fotografie van een kat met een witte kraag
  • Donkere foto met de eettafel en een model aan de linkerkant
  • Delfts Blauw standbeeld van Proud Mary

Glorious Delft Blue

18 January to 30 June 2019

Step into the Golden Age and experience the grandeur of the period with stories, iconic pieces and magnificent statues! In five themes and working with modern-day designers, Royal Delft explores the relationship between the splendour of the Golden Age and contemporary showpieces and trends. The exhibition pays special attention to iconic pieces, such as the tulip pyramid vase and Rembrandt van Rijn's Night Watch in Delft Blue.

Schilderij Les Femmes de Delft in een lichte, witte trappenhuis

Five unique themes

The exhibition is centred around five themes: interior, tulip mania, portraiture, fashion, and trade and new tastes. A foretaste...


Discover the prize-winning, high-end design of Ruben van Megen. Van Megen uses new materials and techniques. With his special designs, Van Megen has one in number of international awards, such as the Red Dot Design Award and Talent Award and A’Design Award, both in 2018

Also on display are masterpieces by Isabelle Torrelle and Christian Otto, creators known for pushing the envelope. They merge the strengths of weaving and embroidery, creating more than 90 variations in colour and technique.


Come and admire the photography of Marie Cecile Thijs, who visualises her personal interpretation of the 17th-century Dutch Masters in a manner that is both beautiful and contemporary. The photographer plays with her subject, brings it to life or simply lets it come into its own in time and space. Objects become characters. They escape their original context and take on an entirely new identity. Her intriguing, sometimes humorous, creations bring together tranquillity and dynamism.


Come discover the creations of famous fashion designer Tess van Zalinge. Her work is inspired by Dutch craftsmanship and Dutch design, with a nod to Dutch heritage, including Delft Blue. Her designs are often structured in form, but with light and subtle details. The use of colour and prints makes for designs that are lively and innovative.

About Royal Delft

The Royal Delft pottery (founded in 1653) is the only pottery that remains of the original 32 founded in Delft during the 17th century. At Royal Delft, the world-famous Delft Blue earthenware is still hand painted according to centuries-old traditions. In 1919, the company received the designation ‘Royal’ to affirm its special relationship with the Dutch royal house. The Dutch royal family have been admirers of Royal Delft earthenware for generations.

Discover more

Today, Royal Delft is not only a pottery producing Delft Blue and a knowledge institute, but it is also a museum. In addition to the Glorious Delft Blue exhibition, you can also lose yourself in the Royal Delft Experience. Discover the full history and production process of Royal Delft Blue in a special film. A painter will be at work and you will be introduced to the two other Delft icons, Johannes Vermeer and the Dutch royal family. The antique and modern collection of Delft earthenware can be admired in the Night Watch Room. Finally, you can view the pottery itself where Delft Blue is still produced and painted by hand. A unique experience.

Delfts Blauw vrouwelijke schilder tijdens rondleiding

Be sure to put it in your calendar

The exhibition Glorious Delft Blue can be seen at Royal Delft from 18 January until 30 September. It’s one you don’t want to miss!

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