Museum and Other News
- The Rijksmuseum reopens April 13, 2013, after lengthy restoration. What is new besides the architectural elements is that the displays, spr ead over four floors, show paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and historical objects together and not in separate sections of the building. The Philips Wing, which remained open during the work, closed March 17. It will be converted into a venue for larger exhibitions, reopening in early 2015.
- While preparing for the new display in the soon to be reopened Rijksmuseum, conservators discovered that the Portrait of William of Orange (1579) that had been assumed to be a studio version of Adriaen Thomasz Key’s portrait, turned out to be the original. (The Art Newspaper, March 2013)
Antwerp: The Museum Plantin-Moretus has acquired a series of ten drawings by Sebastiaen Vrancx (1573-1647) with scenes from Virgil’s Aeneid.
Barnard Castle, County Durham: A previously unknown seventeenth-century painting has been identified as by Anthony van Dyck after being spotted online. The portrait was thought to be a copy and was in storage at the Bowes Museum. It was photographed for a project to put all oil paintings in the UK on the BBC Your Paintings website where it was seen by art historian Bendor Grosvenor. After an investigation by BBC Two’s Culture Show, it has been verified by Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean Museum and Van Dyck expert. The portrait depicts Olivia Boteler Porter, lady-in-waiting to Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I. (CAA News, March 2013)
Berkeley (CA): A team of scholars, computer scientists and web designers has developed an interactive website about Jan Brueghel the Elder where art historians and others interested in the artist can gather, share and discuss the work of Brueghel and his studio. The project, known as the Jan Brueghel Wiki Project, was started by Elizabeth Honig, University of California, Berkeley. The site is www.janbrueghel.org
Enschede (Netherlands): In the all-round budget cuts, Rijksmuseum Twenthe received the good news that it would receive extra funding and remain open. Huis Doorn and Slot Loevestein on the other hand are supposed to be closed. The director of Sloet Loevestein will try to find private funding for the museum. The German Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten is willing to start talks with Huis Doorn on how to keep the museum open. Huis Doorn was the refuge of the last Emperor of Germany, Wilhelm II after World War I. (Codart News)
Flanders: The Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek (Flanders Heritage Library), a network of six heritage libraries in Flanders launched its online treasury: flandrica.be. This online heritage library contains illuminated manuscripts, early printed books and other historical materials from the Middle Ages to the present.
Haarlem: The Teylers Museum acquired a rare Italian drawing by Maerten van Heemskerck from the period he worked in Rome (1532-1536). The drawing depicts Four Angels with Emblems of Pope Leo X, after a fresco by Giulio Romano in the Sala di Costantino in the Vatican Palace. (Codart News)
Leeuwarden: The Fries Museum acquired four drawings by Hans Vredeman de Vries, depicting the four seasons. They are long-term loans by the Ottema-Kingma Stichting. The drawings will be on view from September 2013 when the Fries Museum will present its exhibition on the Golden Age in Friesland. (Codart News)
Lens (France): Louvre-Lens, the Louvre branch in the city of Lens in Northern France, opened in December 2012. A Rubens exhibition, curated by Blaise Ducos, will open in May (see above).
- The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired at auction the Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies by Lieven van Lathem (1430-1493). The Getty already owns the Prayer Book of Charles the Bold by Lieven.
- The Getty Research Institute has added approximately 250,000 art sales records to its database from more than 2,000 German auction catalogues dating from 1930-1945. These records are part of the Getty Provenance Index (www.getty.edu/research/tools/provenance/german_sales.html
- Scientists have discovered a hidden portrait beneath the surface of Rembrandt’s Old Man in Military Costume at the J. Paul Getty Museum. It is hoped that new studies with more sophisticated x-ray techniques can show who is depicted in the ‘secret’ image. (CAA News, January 2013)
Paris: The Fondation Custodia has acquired a copy of the first edition of the seventeenth-century emblem book Linguae vitia et remedia, published by Joannes Cnobbaert in Antwerp in 1631. The author, Antonius a Burgundia (1594-1657), a descendant of a bastard of the Duke of Burgundy, describes the evils of the spoken word in 45 mottoes and accompanying verses. In the second part, the correct use of speech is explained. The book is illustrated with prints after Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596-1675), engraved by Jacob Neefs and Andries Pauwels. Antonius a Burgundia’s other emblem book, Mundi Lapis Lydius, had already been acquired by Frits Lugt, making the Fondation one of the few institutions in France to have both emblem books. (E-News, Fondation Custodia, December 2012.)
Another recent acquisition is Merry Company Making Music by Anthoni Sallaert (before 1590-1650), oil on panel.
The Institut Néerlandais acquired a drawing of a self-portrait by Samuel van Hoogstraten as a boy. It was probablydone shortly after the budding artist was apprenticed to Rembrandt who most likely made the corrections to the sheet, among them the outline of the right arm.
Rotterdam: The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has put its 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish drawings collection online: collectie.boijmans.nl/nl/onderzoek/nederlandse-tekeningen-15e-16e-eeuw
Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia): The Portrait of Rembrandt’s Father by the artist was recovered in March in Sremska Mitrovica, outside of Belgrade, after it was stolen from the museum in Novi Sad, Serbia, seven years ago.
Washington DC: The National Gallery of Art acquired a portrait of Anthonij de Bordes and His Valet by Michael Sweerts as a gift from Dr. Arthur and Mrs. Arlene Elkind, in honor of Derald Ruttenberg’s Grandchildren and New Century Fund. The exquisite small canvas (50.7 x 66.6 cm) is dated c. 1648.