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A Grocer’s Shop (detail; 1717), Willem van Mieris. Mauritshuis, the Hague

While some museums are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are currently open as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

From fragrant perfumes and spices to the stink of sewage-filled canals, the 17th-century nose had much to contend with. Historic scents waft through galleries of Dutch Golden Age paintings at the Mauritshuis in this multi-sensory exhibition, which sniffs out the links between the olfactory and the pictorial; it will open as soon as coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands allow (until 29 August). But in the meantime the museum has released a fragrance box, which you can have delivered to your home alongside a digital tour of the exhibition. (Perhaps warn whoever you live with before spraying the scent of ‘17th-century canal’ in your living room.) Find out more from the Mauritshuis’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

The Mauritshuis’s fragrance box

The Mauritshuis’s fragrance box

Pomander (c. 1620), probably Northern Netherlands.

Pomander (c. 1620), probably Northern Netherlands. Rijksmuseum Twenthe

(View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds c. 1670–75), Jacob van Ruisdael.

View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds (c. 1670–75), Jacob van Ruisdael. Mauritshuis, The Hague

A Grocer’s Shop (1717), Willem van Mieris.

A Grocer’s Shop (1717), Willem van Mieris. Mauritshuis, the Hague

Source: Fleeting – Scents in Colour: virtual see-and-smell tour | Apollo Magazine

Watch and sniff: how to smell a Dutch still life…

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Random sensory quotes

I did go on safari in Kenya when I was 17, with my mother, stepfather and little brother, and I kept a careful journal of the experience that was very helpful in terms of my sensory impressions of Africa. I have traveled quite a bit at distinct times in my life, though now that I have kids I’ve settled down.

— Jennifer Egan