Amidst all the logistical preparations, I’m trying to learn as much as I can about Dutch history, culture and art before I leave for the Netherlands. At the moment, I’m visiting my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and niece on the East Coast and had the opportunity to check out the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It was my first time at the museum and it’s an amazing place. As luck would have it, they’ve got a special exhibit at the moment called “Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer.” I feel like I have a decent foundation in Italian renaissance art. The scenes depicted are usually familiar to me because they are often focused on the ancient world. However, what I saw at the MFA today was totally different despite being from more or less the same time period. I particularly liked the paintings that were chosen as representations of manual laborers and farm workers. They were a welcome change of pace from mythology. I really enjoyed their focus on depicting the real world as workers experienced it. But my very favorite thing of all was all the spaniels in paintings… Very cool! I’m looking forward to exploring the world of Dutch painting much more when I’m in the Netherlands.